Manage episode 231119409 series 2383627
Meet my guest and friend, Lauretta Swansborough. We met almost 20 years ago, when she and I were cast in A Man Who Came to Dinner. In this 2001 community theatrical production, I played the nerdy resident nurse, and she played the neighbor with the jar of pickled pigs feet. She had one line, and I had two lines, “Yes, sir!” and “No Sir!”, repeated at least twenty one times. I got to wear comfortable nurse shoes and stuff a Whitman’s chocolate bon bon in my mouth before my character’s final exit. She got to wear a fur coat.
As Lauretta and I spent more time off stage than on, we became good friends and learned about the musical interests we had in common: songwriting, and singing….we continued acting, and her husband and their young son joined her on occasion. She started directing plays. I’d stopped doing that a decade earlier.
She convinced me to join the band that she and her husband, Pat and another friend were forming, because they needed a mandolin player. She played the bass guitar, Pat played rhythm guitar and their friend, Wayne played lead guitar. In addition to mandolin, I also played percussion with the cajon because I don’t own or play a drum kit. We called ourselves Evening Sunrise, because none of us are spring chickens.
When the band disbanded after a couple of years, Lauretta talked me into joining John Houston’s Gospel Choir. She was a founding member and I joined the choir after the first concert. I stayed for six years and left last year to pursue and prepare for the premier of my original
one-woman musical, Tales of Tila. Take a wild guess as to who I had direct me?
She did a fantastic job of it, and hope she’ll be able to resume that role when I revive my play at the venue, Brigham’s Playhouse this September 2019.
I use the word “Hope” for various reasons: Lauretta stage managed a local production of “the King and I” earlier this year, and is currently directing The Pajama Game, all while continuing with the gospel choir, doing standup comedy, dabbling in oil painting and managing a serious health concern that almost took her life a year ago.
She isn’t one to sit at home and twiddle her thumbs while waiting to get on that list for that major operation. When the health issue she’d been dealing with was identified, she wrote a beautiful and poignant letter for her family, and read it to me. It’s because of this touching prose in which she paints a picture of her love for them, that I’ve felt compelled to feature my friend, Lauretta Swansborough.
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