We went to the "Burmester thing" tonight.
In 2005, I did a feature article (and journal entry) commemorating Acme Theatre Company's 25th Anniversary.
In 2007, I did a feature article (and journal entry) about what was to have been Dave Burmester's last summer production.
In 2008, I did a feature article (and journal entry) about Dave's retirement from Acme and the debut of his very first play.
At some point, we attended a celebration of his retirement from teaching (no journal entry, I guess!)
Tonight, Acme Theatre was having a celebratiaon (A "Fanfare," if you will!) thanking Dave Burmester and his wife Libby, for all they have done in founding and running Acme theatre for 30 years. It was a wonderful celebration and very odd for us to be in a huge gathering of Davis theatre people and to know almost nobody there!
Before things started, there were musicians entertaining the people mulling around looking for seats.
We sat with Libby and Gene, whose son Dan, who now works in theatre in New York, was in Acme in some of the years that our kids were involved. And we were delighted to run into Jen, who performed with Jeri, Paul, and Marta.
Also at our table were Melanie and Mark, who are our neighbors, and whom we have only previously seen at Neighbors Night Out gatherings. I didn't remember that their daughters is in Acme.
There was a very nice program, run by Dara Yazdani (who won the Paul Sykes Memorial Scholarship the year he graduated), and Zoe, whose last name I have forgotten (Garcia?). They started talking about the various Acme shows, with Acme alum and current members popping up in the audience the continue the list. It went on for a very long time. Acme has produced a lot of shows!
Then they took a break to serve several of the desserts which had been donated by local merchants--fresh fruit, cheesecake, cookies, chocolate cake, apple turnovers, pumpkin mousse, and lots of other stuff. I was glad that I had skipped dinner tonight. Ethan Jaffe, whom I have reviewed in several productions, was our waiter. He was extremely conscientious and treated us very well (that's a monkey hanging around his neck)
After dessert, Acme alum Sarah Cohan (1996) did an amazing bit of dialog between Kate and Petruccio from Taming of the Shrew, where she played both parts. It was marvelous.
John Ramos and Delaney Pelz did a scene from the upcoming production if MacBeth.
(I loved the shadow on the wall during this scene!) There were more desserts, and coffee served before we got to the meat of the evening. A group of five people, who had collected memories from several Acme alum and community people, read a collection of those memories, woven together into a single piece. It's 20 minutes long and I will probably post most of it as two videos in the next couple of days. But it was absolutely marvelous.
There was the expected request for money by the head of the "Counsel of Elders," and a nice toast to Dave and Libby with some Martinelli's sparkling cider.
(Dave is circled. I think)
Finally, there was word from the sponsor, "frickando," (which is both a furniture polish and a dessert topping), complete with a frickando jingle, which was sung heartily by Acme members in the audience.
And then it was over. Dave was mobbed by well-wishers, and since I'd talked with him when he arrived, we didn't wait around to talk with him afterwards, though I had told him, tongue in cheek, that this was going to be the very last tribute to him that I was going to attend! This blurry photo was all I was able to get.
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Dave, even before our kids hit high school and we only knew his family from dinners at the old St. James parish hall. He's one of the good guys. He and his wife richly deserve any accolades anybody decides to give them!