If you were lucky enough to see the Majestics’ performance of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast last weekend, you were treated to some of the best that Serrano’s Performing Arts departments have to offer. If you haven’t already seen the show, you have three more opportunities to do so this weekend.
Based on the Academy Award winning animated film, the Broadway stage production ran for more than 13 years and garnered nine Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. Along with the original songs, by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, the stage version includes additional songs written by Menken with Tim Rice.
As with many shows that Beverly Quinn directs, Beauty and the Beast is double cast for some of the lead roles. Also traditional is the fact that both casts give exemplary performances and leave the audience feeling they’ve seen the “best” ensemble.
Hanna Buckle and Victoria Randall play Belle, the provincial heroine, alternately. Both actresses sing the part beautifully and Randall’s voice is reminiscent of Paige O’Hara who voiced Belle for the animated feature. Dexter Martin plays the tortured Beast who must learn to love and be loved, or remain in his present physical state forever. Successfully balancing the monster’s anger with the prince’s vulnerability, Martin brings sensitivity to his portrayal of the Beast. He also performs the song, If I Can’t Love Her with heart and strength.
Caleb Woodward plays the narcissistic Gaston in both casts and it is hard to imagine anyone else in the role. With a bass voice that belies his 18 years, Woodward plays Gaston with all the comic machismo of the animated character from the film. The physical comedy of the cocked eyebrow and flexing biceps plays well from the stage. Woodward and Ty Rogoff, as sidekick Lefou, have great chemistry on stage, and when they lead the cast in the musical number Gaston, laughter from the audience threatens to drown out the lyrics.
EanKernan is hysterical as Cogsworth, a pessimistic but good-natured butler-turned-clock.
Jacob Laycock, who plays Lumiere, is a sophomore and will hopefully be involved in Serrano performances for the next two years. Laycock is a delight to watch as he portrays the ever-gracious host, who has an eye for the ladies. He seemed comfortable and unfettered in the candelabra costume that required his arms be up, with elbows bent, candles for hands, for the two-thirds of the show that he spends on stage. Arguably the best musical ensemble performance in the production is Be Our Guest, Lumiere’s big number. With musically sound solos by Laycock and Mrs. Potts, portrayed by Kai-li Sam Fong and April Williams, the singing, dancing, acrobatics, and colorful costumes come together for a true extravaganza that brought clamorous applause from the audience.
Mike Ogborn’s Stagecraft class provides the technical support under the direction of Production Stage Manager Noah Ojeda. Rex Aniciete conducts the show’s live orchestra, and Alan Alaniz provides vocal direction.
See the show this weekend, Friday and Saturday at 7PM and a matinee Saturday at 2PM in Performing Arts Center (PAC) at Serrano. Tickets are available at the door, online, and at Village Video. You’ll be singing bits of Be Our Guest and Gaston for a week, in spite of yourself!
Sheriff seeks public’s help with tire slashing investigation
By Terri Hill
Monday’s Wrightwood MAC meeting ran nearly twice as long as usual, as reports and updates from the Sheriff and Fire departments included several important local issues.
Sheriff Deputy Toll reported on a rash of tire slashing in Wrightwood that took place between May 10 and May 13. He said that the department has no leads and is requesting that anyone with security cameras in the areas of the crimes look at their recordings and watch for any unusual activity. He is hopeful that there may even be footage of the vandals in the act. Vehicles that were vandalized were in the following areas: 1900 block of Hwy 2, 1800 blk. Virginia, 1600 blk. Irene, 1400 blk. Helen, and the 400 block of Evergreen. Please call the Sheriff Department if you think you have video with evidence.
Toll also reported Steven Huerta, a Wrightwood resident, was taken into custody on charges of burglary. Evidence led detectives to Huerta’s residence, where they found stolen property linked to recent break-ins, as well as from past-unsolved cases.
Three weeks ago, and again on the weekend of May 14, the County Yard was burglarized and the CERT and County Roads containers were broken into. CERT suffered the loss of several generators and ham radios in the theft. Jim Cowen of Golden State Water reported the water company warehouse was also broken into last weekend. The would-be thieves may have been scared off, as the tools they used to pull the wall away and gain access were left behind, and it appeared nothing was taken.
Wrightwood Neighborhood Watch and Crime Prevention met May 4th and hosted Adelanto Sheriff Deputy Wendy Perea and Probation Officer Yaquelin (Jackie) Galvan. Both officers stressed the importance reporting anything that looks “off” or unusual in your neighborhood. Galvan recommended routinely scanning your neighborhood when on the way to and from work or school, so that things out of order will be more obvious. Perea also encouraged the use of locks on doors and windows. She said the time it takes a criminal to get through the barrier could save the life of occupants of the home.
San Bernardino CHP Lieutenant Jeff Loftin addressed the meeting briefly and asked about issues and concerns from the community. In response to a comment about reckless driving and speeding before and after school, Loftin said he will try to have an officer stationed at Wrightwood Elementary for several days. The CHP presence will remind drivers of the 25 MPH limit in a school zone, and to exercise caution as children approach and exit the school grounds.
USFS releases first two chapters of Monument Plan
Chapters 1 (Introduction) and 2 (Proposed Action and Alternatives) of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan Environmental Assessment are available for review.
This document is available for public review, but the Forest Service will not respond to comments on the document at this time. We are providing the document in advance of an official public comment period scheduled for approximately July through August 2016. The complete Environmental Assessment and Proposed Monument Management Plan will be available before this official comment period. The objective of the early release of Chapters 1 and 2 is to increase public awareness and engagement by allowing additional time to review and understand the proposed plan before the official comment period.
Please see the project website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46311 view or download the document, and for additional information. If you would like a hardcopy, or for any other questions on the project, please contact Justin Seastrand, (626) 574-5278, or email@example.com.
Big changes at County Fire
By Terri Hill
SB County Fire Captain Steve Roeber from Station 14 reported to the Wrightwood MAC on Monday, the new Battalion Chief for Wrightwood, Phelan, and the city of Hesperia is Kelly Anderson. Anderson’s assignment fills a vacancy left by Chief Jeff Birchfield when he promoted to Division Chief and transferred to Division 1. Chief Anderson commented briefly in regard to her new assignment and the opportunity to become familiar with the Tri-Community area.
Roeber also explained that American Medical Response (AMR), an ambulance company, is contracted with San Bernardino County. Because AMR is unable to keep all of their ambulances staffed, the county units will be moved around to help accommodate shortfalls in coverage. For Wrightwood, it means that the reserve ambulance, only staffed in winter, from Station 14 has been moved down to the Oak Hills area for the time being. At the Wrightwood Fire Safe Council meeting Tuesday night, Captain Bolesworth stressed that even when our community needs a second ambulance, it has to come from an outlying area, as the reserve unit in town was not in service.
Additionally, Roeber updated the MAC on the state of San Bernardino City Fire, as that agency has been absorbed into County Fire because of the city’s financial problems.
Allison’s Angels support ChemoWize
Pinon Mesa Middle School student SAS club “Allison’s Angels,” donates to ChemoWize from funds raised from their sale of Valentine Grams in memory of Allison LaVogue.
Allison was driven to raise money for women battling breast cancer when her mother was diagnosed. She urged her high school Socially Aware Students (SAS) group to get involved and Pinon Mesa SAS also took up the mantel. Tragically, Allison was lost to a car accident in October of 2014 but her friends, family and the SAS clubs continue her legacy.
ChemoWize exists to enable tri-community breast cancer patients better cope with, manage and recover from the physical challenges that chemotherapy brings. The many long-term side effects include peripheral neuropathy (loss of sensation in hands and feet), chronic fatigue, cognitive problems, learning disabilities, vision problems, heart and kidney issues, liver disease, and infertility and secondary cancers.
ChemoWize awards grants for goods and services, most of which are not covered by insurance, that help combat these side effects such as detoxification programs and equipment, exercise programs and equipment, massage, reflexology, optometry, acupuncture, homeopathic and nutritional practitioners and supplements.
Bill and Betty Molhlenbrock to speak at Memorial Day ceremony
By Tom Pinard
Wrightwood’s commemoration of Memorial Day will feature a San Diego Navy couple who have strived to make a difference in the lives of military personnel.
Dr. Bill Mohlenbrock, a Navy Flight Surgeon during the Vietnam War, and his wife Betty, whose concern during their war-time separation spurred a national organization to help military families, will be the featured speakers at the May 30th Memorial Day service.
Betty’s dream was to keep deployed military parents in contact with their children at home through the reading of books, something that tied into her professional work as a reading specialist. Her dream became reality through hard work, the help of her husband’s former shipmates, and initially, the command of Navy ship USS Comstock, which saw the importance of their crew staying in touch with family during their six-month deployment.
“From little acorns mighty oaks grow,” would be fitting term for United Through Reading (UTR), the organization that Mohlenbrock founded three decades ago. UTR offers deployed military service members the opportunity to be video-recorded reading books to their children; the videos are played in homes in nearly 200 locations worldwide. An estimated 2 million service member families have participated in the program.
In March of this year UTR was honored by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society with their 2016 Citizen Honors Award. Previous awards included special recognition, during the height of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, by President George Bush.
Bill Mohlenbrock and his wife, are from small towns in Illinois and both graduated from the University of Illinois. Bill’s family, back to the Civil War, actually had a tie to the formation of what is now Memorial Day in America. Bill’s speech will address the beginnings of this very important day in America’s culture.
Entering the US Naval Aerospace Medical Institute Bill trained as a squadron Flight Surgeon. He subsequently served onboard the USS Yorktown, an aircraft carrier that deployed to the Sea of Japan during the Pueblo Incident, and participated in operations off North Vietnam. Following his honorable Naval discharge, Dr. Mohlenbrock completed an orthopedic residency at the University of California, San Diego where he has served as assistant clinical professor since 1973. Dr. Mohlenbrock has practiced orthopedic surgery for more than 30 years at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.
The ceremony at the Wrightwood Veterans Memorial Park on Evergreen Road will begin at 11 a.m. A 30-minute musical presentation by A Penny A Kiss precedes the event at 10:30.