|Showing off his jazz hands.|
Meanwhile, Rebel Girl has been spending some serious quality time over at Fullerton College. The little guy has been cast in Ragtime: the musical which means that, at eleven years old, he is now a community college student (enrolled in THEA 174), attending rehearsals four days a week, writing four page character analyses and singing 24/7. While he is cast as a member of the ensemble (playing a resident of New Rochelle, an Italian immigrant and a newsboy) and understudy for the lead child role (Little Boy), he could, Rebel Girl wants you to know, play any other role in the play if called to do so. She has heard him. He is especially impressive as Younger Brother, Booker T. Washington and Harry Houdini.
Rebel Girl wishes to report that she finds our neighboring college to be a vibrant place. It is instructive to spend so much time in the classroom at another institution, watching multiple instructors work together (music, voice, theater in collaboration) with a variety of students, seeing how those students respond, watching them work together to build something beautiful, ambitious, important. The highly regarded director, Gary Krinke, is retiring this year and this production will be one of his last.
Fullerton College is celebrating its centennial this year and the semester has been especially full with one celebration after another, though Rebel Girl is impressed less with the big events (smart and impressive as they are) but more with the simple stuff of campus life: the weekly newspaper, the literary journal, the clubs and their service projects, the easy sense of accessible student life happening in small and big ways on a daily basis. And those activities seem to be the best kind: driven and led by the students themselves.
Anyway, it's been fun.
|The Little Guy at Centennial Day.|
The Tony award-winning play opens next week and runs eight performances. It is an adaptation of the acclaimed novel by E.L. Doctorow and first opened in 1998 on Broadway with Audra MacDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell (and a very young Lea Michelle as Little Girl). Red Emma used to teach that novel years ago when he taught at IVC. Doctorow himself taught at UC Irvine back in the 70s, while he was finishing another novel, The Book of Daniel, which features closing scenes in Corona del Mar and Disneyland. One of Doctorow's students was Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist who read here at IVC back in the vibrant days of the early 80s, before he won the Pulitzer. When Rebel Girl saw Ford last summer, she reminded him of that. He is 69 years old now but still remembered the little college in the orange groves and the short story he read in the reading series put together by the editor of our now defunct literary journal which was, until its demise, one of the longest lived lit journal published by a community college. Perhaps when IVC celebrates its centennial - or maybe just its 50th - the visit by one of the nation's most acclaimed novelists might earn a footnote in the college's history. I am sure someone has photos somewhere. Maybe the newspaper covered it.
And now, a shameless plug: consider traveling to central Orange County for a wonderful evening of compelling American theater. The show opens next week. If you purchase tickets (thank you!) PLEASE remember to credit the Little Guy (aka Louis Tonkovich) at the time of your purchase. As this is a community college production and Louis is now an enrolled student at the college (!), doing outreach for the show is part of his coursework. The cast list has been provided to the box office so they will know who to credit once you mention his name. Tickets are $12.50 for presale reserved seating, $15.00 at the door, reserved seating.
Show dates: Thursday, 10/17 at 7:00PM (opening night!), Friday, 10/18 at 7:00PM, Saturday, 10/19 at 7:00PM, Sunday, 10/20 at 2:00PM, Thursday, 10/24 at 7:00PM, Friday, 10/25 at 7:00PM, Saturday, 10/26 at 7:00PM, Sunday, 10/27 at 2:00PM.
Let Rebel Girl know if you're going. She'll look for you before and after the shows. She is there every night because, well, the Little Guy doesn't drive yet.