Schmidt replaces Williams in Acting Company's 'Gamma Rays'
There has been a cast change made in "The Effects of Gamma Rays on the Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds," which opened this weekend at The Acting Company in Yuba City, or so I'm informed by Earle and Nancy Perillo
Ada Schmidt has replaced Bonnie Williams as the mother, Beatrice. Williams had to drop out. No specific reason was given.
Schmidt seems a bit young for the mother role, although I'm sure she will do a good job with it. I was in "You Can't Take It with You," a previous TAC production. I played the father of her love interest.
Also starring in "Gamma Rays" are Rachal Devitt as Tillie, Andrea Angrove-Kolb as Ruth, Barbara McCarty as Nanny and Heather Young as Janice.
Directed by Chris Collier, this 1964 play by Paul Zindel runs through Aug. 2.
Paul Newman directed his wife, Joanne Woodward, in a 1972 movie version of this play, and Woodward won the 1973 best actress award for it.
Despite its overlong title, "Gamma Rays" has a pretty uncomplicated plot.
Shy Matilda "Tillie" Hunsdorfer is preparing for her school science fair experiment involving marigolds raised from radioactive seeds.
Problem is, her abusive mother, Beatrice, keeps interfering in her project. Her unstable sister, Ruth, isn't much help, either.
I don't want to give too much away, but Tillie wins the science fair, Ruth has a nervous collapse and nasty mother Beatrice kills Tillie's pet rabbit, Peter.
It is hard to picture sweet Ada Schmidt murdering a bunny rabbit, but she's a good actor, so I imagine she will make a fine job of it.
Anyway, Tillie, who is much like her deformed yet beautiful marigolds, continues to believe that everyone is valuable. And that is the moral of the story.
"Gamma Rays" is rated PG-13.
Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with matinees at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15.
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Meanwhile, local writer-director John Trent's new play "Cavemen in the Outfield" opens next weekend.
It stars Jeff Graham as Link. Then comes Pamela Givans as Meck, Christian Givans as Nik, Adam Steinke as Nak, Joe Moye as Krog and Brandon Graham as Shoeless Rock Jackson.
Jeremy Trent narrates the story.
This Magic Theatre production also runs at TAC. It is directed toward kids. It will run July 18 through Aug. 1, with shows at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturdays.
Tickets are $5.
By the way, the Magic Theatre now offers reserved seats. They can be secured by calling 751-1100.
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Elsewhere, Horton Foote's memorable play "The Trip to Bountiful" has opened at the Theatre on the Ridge in Paradise. It continues Sept. 27.
If you have not already seen the movie, this is another relatively simple plot elevated to classic storytelling by terrific writing.
Aging widow Carrie Watts is living in the twilight of her life with her son and daughter-in-law in a three-room flat in 1940s Houston, Texas. She wants nothing more out of life than to return to her home town of Bountiful.
But her henpecked son is afraid she can't withstand the rigors of the trip, and her daughter-in-law doesn't want to forsake the benefits of Carrie's Social Security check.
Still, Carrie is sure to regain her strength, dignity and peace of mind. Eventually escaping her family's clutches, she boards a bus bound for Bountiful.
Geraldine Page won the 1985 Academy Award for best actress for her portrayal of Carrie.
TOTR shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. There are matinees at 2 p.m. Sundays.
TOTR is located at 3735 Neal Road, Paradise.
So there you have it: two award-winning plays available locally for your enjoyment.