MY LIFE IN THE LAKESIDE LITTLE THEATRE

[Theatre Masks]

Since arriving in Mexico in 1998, I have played roles in a number of plays at the Lakeside Little Theatre, the oldest English-speaking theatre group in México. The Theatre is well equipped and seats about 110 people with a Patio Bar and good backstage facilities. I have had the opportunity to work with both amateur and professional theatre and film people throughout the last few years. Besides playing roles, both Robin and I have served on the LLT Board and Play Reading Committee. We are currently the LLT Script Librarians. The picture on the right was taken at the Patio Bar at a recent birthday party for me.

[Lakeside Little Theatre] [Jim & Robin at the Patio Bar]

My most recent role during the LLT's 40th Season was in the October 2005 production of "The Ladies of the Camellias," a farce about a fictional meeting on stage of a Paris theatre of real life actresses Sarah Bernhardt and Eleanora Duse. The play was directed by new LLT director Allan McGill.

[Camillias Program] [Camillias Set] [Cast of Camellias]

Sarah, the French Diva, is played by Jeritza McCarter, and Eleanora, the Italian Diva, is played by Jayme Littlejohn. Liz White plays the "young girl," definitely not a ingenue, the aspiring diva who would like to replace them.

[Jeritza as Sarah] [Jayme as Eleanora] [Liz as the girl]

I play Gustave-Hippoltye Worms, Sarah's leading man. I am paired on stage much of the time with Keith Scott who plays Eleanora's leading man. The old theatre care-taker and prompter is played by Fred Koesling.

[Jim as Worms] [Keith as Ando] [Fred as Benoit]

The author of the play, "Our Lady of the Camillias," that both "divas" are performing in on the same stage, is Alexander Dumas played by Pat Carroll. After Ivan, the young Russian revolutionary played by Rex Wilson, arrives to take his prisoners, John Jones "saves the day" entering in full costume dressed as Cyrano de Bergerac.

[Pat as Dumas] [Rex as Ivan] [John as Cyrano]

[Lion Program]





In March 2005 I played Prince Richard in "Lion in Winter," directed by Anya Flesh, our friend and a former dancer with American Ballet Theatre.

In this role, I grew a beard which, along with my hair, had to be dyed to make me appear younger. These first pictures taken at an earlier rehearsal are pre dye.

In the play, I fight my father, Henry II, for the crown in competition with my brothers Geoffrey and John. The entire cast with Don Rauch as Henry, Jeritza McCarter as Eleanor of Acquitaine, celebrated standing ovations every night.



[Princes fight for Henry's Crown] [Jim as Prince Richard] [Lion in Winter Cast]

After the last performance I had my picture taken again with the dyed hair and beard, soon to return to natural gray. At the cast party we presented our Director, Anya, with a large stuffed lion. She promptly named him "Henry" and posed with Don Rausch, King Henry. Check out more pictures from The Lion in Winter

[Jim as Richard] [Anya with Lion] [Anya with 2 Henrys]

In April 2004, in "Bell, Book and Candle" directed by newcomer Don Rausch, I played the madcap writer Sydney Redlitch. The part was small, but loads of fun to do since I "brought the house down" every night with my stage antics. By the time the play was over I was so bruised I could hardly walk. The whole cast appears on the right below.

[Bell, Book and Candle Program] [Bell, Book and Candle Cast]

In January 2003, I appeared in "The Dining Room" with Jeritza McCarter and Liz White (pictured below.) This episodic A. R. Guerny play revolves around a single dining room set, but everyone in the piece plays many different roles (I played 10 people.)

[Dining Room Program] [Dining Room with Jeritza McCarter] [Dining Room with Liz White]

In February 2002, I appeared as the gay friend in "The Gingerbread Lady," (left picture below) a role I played in 1970 in Corvallis, Oregon. Barbara Clippinger, a former Broadway actor and dancer, directed and Joyce Vath played the title role. Joyce (stage name Langford) and her husband Richard Vath were professional actors who played many roles throughout the States.

[Gingerbread Lady Program] [Gingerbread Lady Cast]

And in 2001, Norma Lyerly staged Noel Coward's "Private Lives," in which I played Elyot along with April Watts who played my first wife Amanda. Liz White and Robert McCarter played our new spouses that we abandon while on our honeymoons. The picture on the left is set for the second act and the picture on the left shows the whole cast.

[Private Lives Program] [Private Lives Second Act Set] [Private Lives Cast]

The previous season, in January 2000, I played Marc (performed by Alan Alda in New York), one of the three lead roles in the play "Art," directed by Norma Lyerly. Norma appeared in a number of films and plays in the Los Angeles area. Marc was one of the most challenging and rewarding roles I've played. The other roles were played by Norman Burton, the late veteran character actor ("Save the Tiger" with Jack Lemon and "Earthquake" among many others,) and Don Parker, a doctor from Canada. "Art" was played on a single minimalist set (center picture) and involved our quarreling over a piece of stark white modern art.

[Art Program] [Director Lyerly and cast of Art] [Set for [Don, Norman and Jim in Art]

In 1999, I played the harried husband in the murder mystery "Night Watch," directed by Tod Jonson. Tod is another "old theatre trooper" who has retired here. While attending the Pasedena Playhouse he met Ingrid Bergman who asked him to play the part of the young French soldier who dies in her arms in her famous film "Joan of Arc."

[Night Watch Program] [Night Watch]

My first LLT role was in 1998 when I appeared in the Ann Meara play "After Play." I had an opportunity to work with Rocky Karns, a longtime veteran actor best know for his role as Jim Stewart's younger brother Harry in "It's A Wonderful Life" (pictured on the left.) At the first Film Festival, we gave Rocky our first Tribute Award. Within several months he died of cancer.

[After Play Program] [Rocky in Wonderful Life]

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