THEATER AND SUCH


Productions at the Little Theater just keep getting better and better. Three new faces trod the boards when the play, Social Security opened last month. It is hoped they will be seen again in other productions. Jeritza playing the dysfunctional, Trudy, showed a definite comedic flare when she appeared in earlier this year. In this run, she brought down the house when she clumped across the stage with a phantom walker imitating her mother quaffing sour balls. Her real-life husband, playing the spouse of Joyce Langford Vath, also delivered some funny lines. The show, ably directed by Barbara Keener, was a tummy tickler and patrons left the theater smiling.

Next up is Cliff Hanger, directed by Marty Taras. Pat Varcoe, Liz White, J.R.Vourex, Pat Carroll, and Rex Wilson round out the cast. Rex, recently graduated from the University of Oregon is presently staying with his mother, Micki Wilson. Bet Micki comes to see the play when it opens on December 4th.
Thumbnail sketch: Just the name, Jeritza, conjures up all sorts of images. An Egyptian lady with a veil below dark almond eyes, or a companion of Ali Baba sitting on a magic carpet as it skims over minarets, but when you come to the last name, the magic carpet comes crashing down. McCarter hardly brings to mind veils and magic carpets. But this lady with the mobile features and the knowing blue eyes does exude magic when she is on stage. McCarter and her husband, Robert, also a capable actor came to Mexico via Sri Lanka where George had been affiliated with Lockheed before they decided to retire in a home overlooking the Indian Ocean.
They loved their adopted home until there was a change of government. Foreigners were viewed with hostility and the McCarters were physically assaulted by young thugs employed as "bodyguards" to officials of the new regime. No one was apprehended. Instead, the McCarters were considered a political embarrassment and were told to leave the country or suffer the consequences. Interested in a longer life span, they hired guards to protect them while they quickly gathered their personal belongings and left the country.
They had friends here, who had constantly begged them to come and visit. They did and settled here in June of 1999.
Jeritza has always been around the stage in one form or another. When she was five, she appeared in a show starring Helen Hayes. In every country where she and Robert lived, they formed theater groups. The government in Japan was so impressed by Jeritza's version of Cinderella, they sent the troupe around the country performing this very different Cinderella who had a talking dog.
Her mother was a free spirit and a lot of it has rubbed off on Jeritza. She came by her unusual name when her mother, who was friendly with a well-known Polish opera singer, named, Jeritza, said she would give her unborn child the same name if the baby was a girl.
Jeritza and Robert met when they attended Glendale College. It was instant dislike. Through unusual circumstances they were forced to attend a ball together. They began the evening gritting their teeth and forcing themselves to be polite to each other. Sometime during the evening things began to change and they became friends and remained friends for a fair amount of time and eventually fell in love.
Before they married Jeritza insisted there were some things Robert had to know about her. 1. She would never be happy being a suburban housewife, 2. Her passion for the theater required involvement 3. She couldn't cook. Robert found a job requiring world travel, he learned about the theater and if he didn't cook, he found someone who did.
Interestingly enough, Jeritza and Robert had seen Social Security at a dinner theater in California. The performance was terrible. The actors portrayed the characters as whiny wimps. The McCarters determined the play might have a chance to be successful if they were played as strong characters. Director, Barbara Keener had the same notion and Jeritza is laudatory in her comments on Keener's directing.
Dedicated theater people like the McCarters is one reason LLT is so successful, and aren't we glad they like it here!