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"You must understand, I was someone once."

Read the Rave reviews!

Quartet

Written by Ronald Harwood
Directed by Jereme Anglin


$28/$35 at the door  General Admission
$25/$30 at the door  Seniors 62 and over
$20/$25 at the door  Under 30 & Military
$15/$20 at the door  Youth under 18

From the author of The Dresser comes this wickedly funny, joyous play about art, the eccentricities of age, and the celebratory power of the human spirit. In a retirement home for aging musicians, two questions circle each other. One involves former opera stars who were once married, long ago and briefly. The other is about a gala that may be able to raise enough money to keep their home from closing. Will the complications of the first question derail the second?

Please note: In these extraordinary times, we will honor all requests for exchanges and refunds related to the current situation. Please call us at 707-763-8920, or email us at box-office@cinnabartheater.org

Funding provided by Sponsors Circle Members Ray Hendess & Rory Keller additional support provided by Buffington Clay-Miller

Cast

Jean Horton

Laura Jorgensen

Cecily Robson

Liz Jahren

Reginald Paget

Michael Fontaine

Wilfred Bond

Clark Miller

Crew

Scenic Designer

Joseph Elwick

Costume Designer

Lisa Eldredge

Stage Manager

Ross Tiffany Brown

The Cast and Crew

Anglin Jereme Anglin (Director) holds a MFA in Acting and works professionally as an actor, director and teacher. For eight years he served as Director of Theatre Arts of an award-winning training program at one of the top ten private high schools in Connecticut. Jereme’s own acting training was accomplished at schools such as the Sorbonne in Paris, The Moscow Art Theatre at Harvard, and the University of Connecticut. He has acted in many theaters on the east and west coasts as a member of Actor’s Equity Association. In addition to acting and directing, he has served as fight choreographer for several productions, holds a black belt in Aikido, and is a practitioner of physical theater and the Suzuki Method of actor training.

Eldredge LisaLisa Eldredge (Costume Designer) Costume designer for numerous operas at Cinnabar Theater and the Bay Area, Ms. Eldredge occasionally seizes the opportunity to costume an irresistible play. Among her Cinnabar favorites are Enchanted April, Private Lives, Born Yesterday, Shirley Valentine and Driving Miss Daisy. She is pleased to be adding opera centric Quartet to her credits.

Joseph Elwick (Scenic Designer) Check back soon for Joe’s bio.

Emerson JohnsonJared Emerson-Johnson (Sound Designer) is an award winning composer, sound designer, and voice director. His work is primarily featured in video games. Jared’s score to Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead was honored with a B.A.F.T.A. nomination for best game score of 2013. The Walking Dead was also selected as the Game Audio Network Guild’s winner for Best Dialog of 2013. Since the early 2000s, Jared has also worked off and on as a music instructor in Cinnabar Theater’s education department—coaching chamber music and conducting various youth operettas and musicals. He has performed with several Bay Area theater companies including Cinnabar Opera, Sonoma City Opera, the San Francisco Lamplighters, and a handful of student and regional companies in western NY state. Jared has held the position of concertmaster in the North Bay Sinfonietta. He’s also the frontman for the Rivertown Skifflers, a jug band. Jared holds a B.A. summa cum laude in music, with distinction in all subjects, from Cornell University.

FontaineMichael Fontaine (Reginald Paget) During the past 30+ years, Michael has acted in or directed dozens of productions with numerous organizations in the North Bay and beyond. Favorite roles performed at Cinnabar Theater include Carl in Lonely Planet, Graham in Talking Heads, Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale and Elomire in La Bete. Directing credits for Cinnabar include The FantastiksCandideMan of La ManchaSweeney ToddJacquel BrelWe Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!Hedda GablerMrs. Warren’s ProfessionA Moon for the MisbegottenCandidaThe Winter’s Tale, Lettice & Lovage and The Country Wife. Other area directing credits include – for 6th Street Playhouse – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf1940’s Radio HourCat on a Hot Tin Roof and Souvenir. For Santa Rosa Junior College and Summer Repertory Theater: Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatCinderellaBedroom Farce, and Hair. He has additionally served as stage director for the Sonoma City Opera productions of The Elixir of LoveDaughter of the RegimentAbduction from the Seraglio, and Don Pasquale. Currently working as Programs & Development Director for Pets Lifeline in Sonoma, Fontaine also teaches in the SRJC Older Adults Program and sings with several area choral ensembles. He is pleased to be returning to Cinnabar in an acting role after a six year hiatus, his last appearance having been in the Tom Lehrer review, Tomfoolery, for which he also served as stage director.

JahrenLiz Jahren (Cecily Robson) holds an MFA in Acting from UTK, a post graduate certificate in LeCoq Training from Naropa University & a BA in Theatre with distinction from SSU.  Favorite local roles include the nurse in Romeo & Juliet at Shakespeare in the Cannery; Mae West in Dirty Blonde, Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf & Lisa in Well at the 6th Street Playhouse; Pinky in Pinky, Louise in Always Patsy Cline at MSW, Cinnabar and Luther Burbank Center for the Arts; and On the Verge, and We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! at Cinnabar. Most recently Liz was Maggie in MSW production of Dancing at Lughnasa. Liz is the Artistic Director for Alchemia; an innovative visual & performing arts program for adults with special needs.

 Laura Jorgensen (Jean Horton) is delighted to be back at Cinnabar. She has  appeared in many plays at Cinnabar over the years including Driving Miss Daisy, A Clean House, On the Verge, Philadelphia Story, An Ideal Husband, Laughing Wild, Three Tall Women, A Perfect Ganesh, Road to Mecca, Heartbreak House, Taking Heads, A Delicate Balance, A Winter’s Tale, Candida, A Lie of the Mind, Our Country’s Good, Blue Window and Reckless, and directed We Won’t Pay We Won’t Pay. At Cinnabar, she also appeared in John O’Keefe’s premieres of Glamour and Queer Theory. At Main Stage West she recently performed in Road to Mecca, 4000 Miles, Other Desert Cities, Exit the King and Light Sensitive. She has worked with Undermain Theater in Dallas, Texas in Endgame, Really, Easter and the premier of Abraham Zobell’s Home Movie:Final Reel by Len Jenkin. Laura has created and performed nine shows with her husband, Fred Curchack, including The Mental Traveler, Golden Buddha Beach, Sexual Myth-Stories, An American Dream Play, NOH: Angels, Demon’s and Dreamers, Monkey: The Quest to the West, Milarepa, Grandpa’s Home Videos and Burying Our Father: A Biblical Debacle.

Clark Miller (Wilfred Bond) Clark’s most recent role was Duncan in Macbeth at Shakespeare in the Cannery. At Cinnabar Theater, he has appeared in Arcadia, Of Mice and Men, Fiddler on the Roof and La Cage aux Folles. Other recent roles include Tony in Outside Mullingar at Main Stage West, the father in Chekhov’s The Marriage Proposal at 6th Street Playhouse, Ian in The Other Place at 6th Street and Main Stage West, and Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night at Shakespeare in the Cannery. At Spreckels Theatre Company, he has appeared in Guys and Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun and Willy Wonka.

 

 

 

Cinnabar’s ‘Quartet’ a life-affirming surprise
During a week of mayhem and heartbreak shared among the people of Sonoma County, there could have been no better timing for the opening of Ronald Harwood’s “Quartet” at Cinnabar Theater. This show is a light in a cloud of darkness. If what you’re looking for is a good laugh, as well as a heartfelt connection to the things that matter in life, this is the show for you.
Set in an English retirement community for former musicians and opera singers, the talented foursome of veteran actors leave the audience in an uproar of laughter. As the old friends, and sometime foes, clash and connect, the cast lightly captures the relatable comedy of adjusting to a new life outside the spotlight, after stellar stage careers in which they all reached various levels of fame.
Michael Fontaine is a crowd pleaser as Reginald (Reggie) Paget. Liz Jahren, who plays the energetic and slightly delirious Cecily Robson, is another show-stopper, putting more than 100 percent into her character’s over-the-top personality. Even funnier is the signature glare that Laura Jorgenson, playing Jean Horton, throws at Cecily during her frequent tangents. Clark Miller’s Wilfred Bond adds the perfect touch of salaciousness to the group with his comical wit.
The production’s title might suggest a full-on musical. Surprise! Harwood’s script features only one operatic song, sort of, lasting less than five minutes.
Though the plot holds a great amount of positive comedy, there are a couple instances where jokes go a bit too far. For instance, the characters joke about offstage characters’ possible sexual orientation in ways that are often a bit uncomfortable, somewhat bordering on homophobia, dating the script in ways that feel jarring and unnecessary.
The set by Joseph Elwick is flawless. Sporting antique paintings, gorgeous vintage furniture and a view of a nature-filled terrace, the set suggests a stately country paradise – though the characters may, at times, feel otherwise.
“Quartet,” directed by Jereme Anglin, brings a message that many audience members will feel they need to hear at this time, an encouragement to live in the present, not matter what. In numerous monologues and dialogues, the actors tapped into deep, relatable emotions, each discovering, in their own way, that time is short, the end is unknowable, and that every moment of life is a precious jewel.

–Amelia Parreira, ARGUS-COURIER | October 19, 2017

Quartet- Petaluma
…marching forward in Sonoma County in “the show must go on” tradition is Petaluma’s Cinnabar Theater which opened their production of Ronald Harwood’s Quartet, running now through October 29. It’s a one-set, two-act, four-scene, four-actor comedy whose setting – a retirement home – would belie the energy it generates and the amusement it delivers.
It’s set in Kent, England at a retirement home for performers. We meet three residents, all retired opera singers – the prim and somewhat stuffy Reginald Paget (Michael Fontaine), the gregarious Cecily Robson (Liz Jahren) and the lecherous Wilfred Bond (Clark Miller). They’re preparing for the home’s annual Giuseppe Verde Birthday Celebration when they get word of the home’s newest arrival – Grande Dame Jean Horton (Laura Jorgensen). Jean, whose personality and behavior match the very definition of the word “diva”, also happens to be Reginald’s ex. Her arrival is looked upon with some favor as she could fill out the quartet from Verde’s “Rigoletto” that they wish to present as part of the celebration, but she refuses to perform. Further complicating things is Cecily’s apparent mental deterioration. Jean eventually explains her reticence and the show concludes with a performance of the quartet – but not quite how you might expect it to be.

Again, this does not sound like fertile ground for humor, but director Jereme Anglin and the cast prove the laughs are there. They’re grounded in the individual characters, their relationships with each other, and how they deal with aging gracefully – or not. Reginald’s ongoing battle with a staff member over marmalade is particularly amusing.
Fontaine, Jahren, Miller and Jorgensen all bring great detail to their characters, both in their physical and vocal traits and all four deliver top-notch performances. Miller’s character will be seen as problematic by many as the behavior his character engages in throughout the show would now be defined as sexual harassment. He does try to explain himself late in the play, but current events and ongoing social media campaigns on the subject made the laughs somewhat uncomfortable. Thankfully, there’s a lot more to the show than that, and his character is to some extent called out on his behavior by Reginald.
Costuming by Lisa Eldredge supports their character choices by matching their personalities. A nice set design by Joseph Elwick gives a real sense of location to the production and underscores Madame Horton’s misguided sense of privilege about being reduced to “this”.
Knowing little of the show, I was pleasantly surprised by how life-affirming and fun it was. Aging is a process with which, if we’re lucky, we all have to face. May we find as much humor in it as the characters in Cinnabar’s Quartet.

–Harry Duke, FOR ALL EVENTS | October 20, 2017


Journey of Acceptance in Cinnabar’s ‘Quartet’

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered who the aging face was staring back? Surely the reflection could not be real; it does not feel like so many years have passed. For the residents of a retirement home for musicians, their glory days as opera stars are long gone, but that does not mean their lives have ceased to have meaning. Quartet is an honest, hopeful examination of growing old with long-time friends and rivals. Joseph Elwick’s set design is marvelous, filled with portraits of famous composers, a comfortable array of elegant couches, and a grand piano dominating the room.
Struggling to hold onto her past that has dwindled into memory, Jean Horton (Laura Jorgensen) is left with pride as her consolation, until confronted with its fragility and hurtful consequences. Her ice princess façade is shattered when she opens up to explain the reason for her veneer in a beautiful, vulnerable moment from Horton. Better able to embrace the present, senility and all, Cecily Robson (Liz Jahren) is a bubbly, outgoing artist whose mental acuity is crumbling, to the consternation of her companions, who do not want her sent away. Jahren’s performance is admirable, capturing a compassionate, dazzling opera diva who is losing control, forgetting where she is, yet unfailing in her enthusiasm.
The story falters with Wilfred Bond, who constantly comments sexually about the assets of women. In the wake of Harvey Weinstein, its inclusion is not amusing—a relic of earlier attitudes that have come into question. Despite this, Clark Miller is excellent in the role, and has true insights that demonstrate a depth to his character. Reginald Paget (Michael Fontaine) is an entertaining intellectual, who has his nose perpetually in a book, seeking to escape what his life has become.
Verdi’s birthday celebration is an annual tradition at the home, and the group has been requested to perform the famous Quartet from Rigoletto. Their reactions vary from excitement to terror, and through negotiation they hatch a plot that will satisfy the diverse personalities, leading to a cheerful, hilarious finale.
Cinnabar Theater has gathered a delightful cast for this eccentric home of retired artists coming to terms with their faded careers and romantic flings in Ronald Harwood’s Quartet. Relax with the senior residents for an evening of laughs mingled with somber moments. Reginald speaks volumes to the current Sonoma County community “I’ve nowhere now,” but he realizes that friendship has become his home. This play is fitting for what we are going through, and worth spending time with Cinnabar.

–Alexa Chipman, IMAGINATION LANE | October 23, 2017

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Top: Clark Miller (Wilf) and Liz Jahren (Cecily)
Laura Jorgensen (Jean) and Michael Fontaine (Reggie)

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Clark Miller, Michael Fontaine, Laura Jorgensen and Liz Jahren

 

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Liz Jahren, Clark Miller, Laura Jorgensen and Michael Fontaine

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Clark Miller, Liz Jahren, Laura Jorgensen and Michael Fontaine

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Liz Jahren an Laura Jorgensen

 

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Clark Miller and Michael Fontaine

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Michael Fontaine, Clark Miller, Liz Jahren and Laura Jorgensen

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Clark Miller and Liz Jorgensen

Photos by Victoria Von Thal
Banner photo Michael Fontaine, Liz Jahren, Clark Miller and Laura Jorgensen. Graphic based on a photo by Dominique Colombo