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Last night I was wide awake, energized by having seen Centerville High School’s production, AVENUE Q (see previous post).  By 2:00am, I was finally feeling sleep come over me, and at some point, I was out.  At 3:15am, Navi barked when she heard Quintin come downstairs to use the bathroom.  The last numbers I remember seeing on the clock were 403 (4:03am).

At 8:15am, I finally gave in to the siege of the three dogs surrounding me with their anxious stare-down.  Chief was on my pillow with his nose pressed against mine; Navi was laying on top of Chief smacking me with her tail; and Flyer remained on the floor, staring up at me, and sighing about 2-3 times each minute.

It was a lazy morning of watching the news programs, and enjoyed a wonderful documentary, NOVA: Pocahontas Revealed.  It had more to do with the Jamestown Rediscovery and the incredible archaeological work discovering new things about Jamestown life in 1607, and the nearby Indian capitol governed by Powhatan.  An excellent Netflix documentary.


Quintin and I gathered up all the pots that once held beautiful Impatiens throughout the summer, and early fall, and brought them to the back deck.  In a short while we will head out for groceries, returning in time for me to teach a few lessons for students prepping for jazz band auditions this week at Centerville High School.  I suspect we will settle in for a Netflix movie this evening after supper.

But for right now, I am eating lunch and half-watching THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW.

Quintin’s newest voice is not Asian, but rather, Trekkie Monster from AVENUE Q.  It is quite hilarious to hear him speaking in the Oscar The Grouch-esque voice, as heard in this video another production:  Trekkie Monster singing “Monster School” – AVENUE Q.

I am all prepared for a short week of teaching, and time spent with family and friends!

Photos of my brother and his family…


“Theatre demands different muscles and different aspects of one’s personality.” ― Victor Garber

After about ten minutes into each theatrical production at Centerville High School, I tend to forget I am watching high school students – not college or professional – performing, and running the technical aspects of the show.

They are always THAT GOOD.

I look forward to theatre at Centerville High School as much as I do productions at two other outstanding educational institutions, Wright State University and Sinclair Community College.  I never wonder, “how will Centerille pull off this show?”  That’s a waste of time to even consider that question; CHS does it better than any other high school in Western Ohio.  I am always confident I will leave the auditorium a lot more excited than when I entered – and I always enter CHS’s lobby with a good deal of excitement because I know I am set for a damned good production.

Tonight, my theatre directing friends, Suzanne Grote and Aaron Jacobs, along with Suzanne’s niece, Erin, and my son, Quintin, joined me for AVENUE Q.  This quartet is always at my side for Centerville productions, and we never fail to marvel at the tremendous efforts and talent engaged at this high school theatre program.

I like it when the curtain is open upon seating in the auditorium because I have more time to absorb (marvel, shake my head, chuckle at little touches, and appreciate) Mike Cordonnier’s set designs.  Mike, like several of his Miami Valley contemporaries – Terry Stump at Sinclair Community College, Bruce Brown at nearly every other venue in town and beyond, the Wright State University crew – never fails to impress and surprise me with his creativity.  Mike’s superbly trained brigade of blossoming technical talent  can run a show with ease.

Joe Beumer’s clean, creative, and concise stage direction is a perfect marriage to Mike Cordonnier’s set designs and technical leadership.  There is an incredible amount of magic when you have Joe and Mike  charting the course.  And since Ben Spalding’s arrival as CHS’s choral director, the vocal talent, often accompanied by the instrumental direction of either Brandon Barrometti or Joshua Baker, has soared to new heights.

Centerville High School’s theatre program is outstanding in every way!

I had never seen a stage production of AVENUE Q, originally conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, who also co-wrote the lyrics and music with Jeff Whitty’s libretto.  The school edition is not watered down to the point of dull-dom, as other school musical editions tend to be.  My colleagues who accompanied me tonight assured me this version was just as great as the original.  And the students – on stage and beyond – lifted this production beyond my already high expectations!

If the creators had been able to see this production, I am certain they would have appreciated, and enthusiastically applauded the phenomenal talents of these high school students, and their exceptional mentors/directors.

This Winter, CHS is set to present, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, and will conclude their 2012-2013 season with the Spring musical, SWEENEY TODD.

I am not joking when I say, “Centerville High School has one of the best, if not the best, high school theatre programs around.”

Go see their shows, and see for your self!


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