Monday, June 27, 2016




     My introduction to Leira Satlof was one summer, many summers ago when she & James Floss were auditioning for “1940’s Radio Hour” for a production being put together for the Ferndale Repertory Theatre. Having been cast, we shared extensive rehearsals for a 26 member cast and by all accounts, the show was a success. I was aware that her mother Jane Hill was a co-founder of Dell-Arte, another local company I had worked with, for a Christmas show.

     When Gloria Montgomery telephoned me late Saturday afternoon for going to the theatre that night, I was thrilled. It is always wonderful to accompany such a talented and well-known actress as Gloria. We went to see the current production of THE WHITE SNAKE at the Ferndale Repertory Theatre with bells on.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival Photo

     First staged at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival by Artistic Director Bill Rauch, this Chinese fable has had updates by such notables as the Brothers Grimm. I found the show brimming with talent, excellent casting, tasteful music written by Brian Post, with loads of excitement riveting the audience between fight scenes, dance scenes, love scenes, and scene changes, with drama and a driving story.

     I particularly enjoyed watching the mercurial temperament of Hanah Toyoda, playing the role of the monk Fa Hai, along with playing the parts of Narrator #4, Canopus, plus working as the Make-Up Designer. The other leads were very good, keeping the show at a good pace, and developing their character depth as the Second Act unfolded. I always look for those with a dance background, always noticeable.

    I loved the poetic elements held within the production decisions that could be compared to Cirque De Soleil. Growing up in the Dell-Arte world fashioned Satlof’s vision for how staging could and should work.  I thought the positivity of the teamwork expressed itself by the energy and creativity demonstrated by the cast throughout the uniquely timed and detail oriented blocking.

     I want to close with an official congrats! to Leira Satlof and the committee for having chosen her. It’s a new day in Ferndale. It is my hope that the community will rally by attending the final two weeks of the show. It is a good method to relax, especially with relatives possibly visiting, or the children needing some entertainment for the Fourth of July weekend. You are in luck, July 3 and July 10, 2016...both days have 2 pm matinees so you can take in the show with your family.   (707) 786-5483


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