Like bread and butter or better yet chocolate and peanut butter, some things just go together. Such is the case with Ann Kendrick and Ginny Wehrmeister who blend into a deliciously entertaining duo in Diablo Actors Ensemble's current show, "Grace and Glorie."
Kendrick is 90-year-old Grace and Wehrmeister plays Gloria in Tom Ziegler's poignant show about an irascible older woman dying from cancer and the young Hospice volunteer charged with her care.
But there is still a lot of fight in the old gal, who stubbornly insists on taking care of herself and spending her last days on her isolated farm with her beloved orchard. Laced with humor (it's actually billed as a heartwarming comedy), the two-person play becomes much more about living than dying as devoted, illiterate Grace teaches college-educated Gloria a thing or two about life.
Kendrick and Wehrmeister each create vivid characters capable of bringing tears to your eyes one minute and laughter the next. Masterfully directed by Scott Fryer, the two actresses don't wallow in the inherent drama of the script but rather concentrate on their characters growing relationship.
"Grace and Glorie" runs through May 11 at DAE's lovely, intimate theater at 1345 Locust St. (next to Peet's Coffee and Tea) in Walnut Creek.
Much to my dismay and to that of many DAE fans, this will be the last production in this Locust Street space. The building, which also includes the Paint Palette (now closed) and House of Beads, has been sold, and the new owners are looking at possibly putting in a restaurant.
Scott Fryer and his daughter Sam, the company's managing director, will be vacating the space by the end of May. Where and when they may continue the engaging brand of theater they brought to Walnut Creek is not known at this writing.
They will, however, offer three workshops in the space prior to leaving. Sam presents "Creating a Character ... Creating You," a workshop for middle and high schools students on May 4 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., while Scott will offer "Taking Risks in Acting" from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. that same day. On May 11, Eric Waters, MSW, will present "Finding Your Voice as an Artist using Collective Narrative Practice" from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information on the workshops, go to www.diabloactors.com.
Concord's innovative Butterfield 8 theater company presents Oscar Wilde's scandalous "Salome" from May 2 through May 26 at Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax St. in Concord.
Banned in Britain for 40 years, Wilde's 1891 play spins a web of seduction and betrayal that has inspired several movie adaptations and an opera by Richard Strauss.
In keeping with its reputation, Butterfield 8 will stretch the boundaries of its performance space by incorporating mask work, projected images and stylized choreography as the company looks at the interplay of power and sexuality.
John Butterfield directs, with Rhianna Taylor as Salome and Edward Peabody as John the Baptist. For more information, go to www.b8company.com or call 800-838-3006.
For the younger theater folk, Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble presents "Robin Hood" with original music by Florence Denison on May 2-5 at the Lesher Center for the Arts.
The final show of the company's 40th season tells the classic tale of Robin Hood and his merry men as they try to outwit Prince John and the Sheriff. The family-friendly musical encourages audience participation and is a wonderful way to introduce youngsters to live theater. For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.
The Eugene O'Neill Foundation once again offers a unique insight into Danville's most prestigious playwright with staged readings of other playwrights who influenced O'Neill. Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" takes place on May 5 at 3 p.m. and Henrik Ibsen's "The Lady From the Sea" will be performed on May 19 at 3 p.m.
Both performances take place in the Old Barn at Tao House in Danville, where O'Neill lived and wrote some of his most famous masterpieces.
The National Park shuttle service will transport theatergoers from the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, 205 Railroad Avenue, in Danville, to the national historic site and back. For reservations, call 925-820-1818 or email email@example.com.
Contact Sally Hogarty at firstname.lastname@example.org