“I had such a wonderful experience working with Susan J. Farese, SJF communications. We not only had a successful journey of my CD Release Celebration Concert “10 More Minutes” as a result, but also we had pure fun in the process. She has a great work ethic and is reliable, also understands how to approach any project with compassion, empathy, kindness and passion. I can’t think of any other quality that I could ask for PR agent to have. Thank you Susan!”
La Jolla, California couple Hedges Capers and Nancy Locke Capers are truly an extraordinary couple! They are married co-creators and co-writers of The Geeze & Me– an original “boomer” musical about aging…which will have it’s World PremiereMarch 31 – April 29, 2017 in San Diego at TheTenth Avenue Arts Center.
Hedges, formerly of the folk duo Hedges & Donna (with ex-spouse Donna Carson, during the late 1960’s-early 70’s), is The Geeze & Me Composer/Lyricist and also plays several characters in the production (David, the Soap Boxer and Beat Poet) and Nancy, a member of the Director’s Guild of America,SAG-AFTRA is the Producer & Director.
According to Hedges and Nancy:
The Geeze & Me is a funny, irreverent, and poignant original musical. This timely show features a comedic troupe of eccentric players who team up to wrangle aspects of aging from an expert. An eclectic blend of songs ranging from pop to blues to corner street doo-wop, accompanied by innovative choreography. The perils and benefits of growing older are reflected in the concerns of this diverse group of people.
Connecting with Hedges and Nancy for SJF Communications to provide PR/Publicity for The Geeze & Me has been a total joy and is never dull! Hedges is truly a master wordsmith and composer/lyricist/musician and Nancy, Actress-Psychotherapist, is warm, open, nurturing and very astute. They are equally excited about The Geeze & Me!
I am so proud to interview this “chill” dynamic duo, partners in personal life-and in the biz!
Without further ado….introducing our interview with Hedges Capers followed by Nancy Locke Capers!
Meet Hedges Capers by Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications
Photos courtesy of Hedges Capers and Nancy Locke Capers
Q & A with Hedges Capers by Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications
SJF: Tell us about yourself, where were you born? Where have you lived?
HC: My father was a Navy Chaplain …the longest time I spent in one location was two years…until I was 50 – then I was stable for three years. It has been four years now and I’m planning on more in the San Diego/La Jolla area.
I was born in Princeton NJ…I lived in Pennsylvania, Kansas, Virginia, New York, Guam, California (Monterey, San Francisco, La Jolla, L.A., San Diego, Whittier, Beverly Hills, Benedict Canyon, Laurel Canyon, Hollywood, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach), Japan, Washington State & Washington DC and Hawaii. And some I don’t remember !
SJF: You have certainly lived EVERYWHERE! When did you first perform?
HC: My first performance was 1959 on board ship to Japan…I sang Endless Sleep and Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop. I began writing lyrics at age 11 and started composing music when I was 15. I received my BA at Whittier University and Masters of Arts at the University Without Walls, a tutorial program out of U.C. Berkeley. Private lessons: I’ve never had a music lesson, I tried a vocal lesson 5 years ago when I was unable to sing at all. The lesson was unsuccessful, but it led to my vocal cord surgery which thankfully was successful and instrumental in the content of our show.
SJF: Tell us about you as an actor
HC: I did theatre shows in college; Pajama Game – Playboy Of The Western World – Zoo Story – Rashomon and a few others… but I just wanted to be a singer I never thought about acting. … I went to college because I didn’t know how to get into the music industry (even after having signed a recording contract in 1961 at age 16). I didn’t want to pump gas or marry Leigh Deane Larson… I formed a trio my first week of college- we were hired to sing at a hotel dining bar 2 days after we met and sang together for four years at Whittier. We signed with Dot Records in 1966 and released a single in Japan which we were told made the charts there to #7.
In 1970 I had the title role in The Legend of Hillbilly John. The producers didn’t know whether they should get an actor they hoped could sing or a singer they hoped could act… the final two choices were Arlo Guthrie and myself… a stunning cast of amazing character actors Denver Pyle, Harris Yulin, RG Armstrong, Susan Strasberg and more.
SJF: Any low times?
HC: Hearing a group of kids ask Donna (my ex-wife and former duo partner) if she knew me? She said “Yes he’s my husband” – they looked at her then back at me then back at her and said “He doesn’t look at all black” but in their world it was not possible that a white man and a black woman could be married.. the only possibility was that I must be black… that night I wrote
“No child of mine’s gonna have to plant no god damn cotton. No child of mine ever gonna harvest up the rain No child of mine’s ever gonna have to know that pain. Steeple people twisted children God’s almighty bent and broken they went to Little Rock all alone and God went home”.
Anger and hurt were the emotions…Donna was pregnant and I was wondering are we doing to this child-any favors bringing him into THIS?
SJF: Tell us about your duo Hedges and Donna
HC: We opened for Nina Simone, Judy Collins and Bobby Hebb, Harry Belafonte, Neil Diamond, OscarBrown Junior and Jean Pace, Ritchie Havens … Groups that opened for us? Jackson Browne, Blood Sweat and Tears, James Taylor, Ritchie Havens, Hoyt Axton, Joni Mitchell and lots more…
SJF: Highs of your career?
HC: Too many highs to list them all …Headlining the Philadelphia Folk Festival… The Smothers Brothers Show, Carnegie Hall, The Tonight Show three times.
SJF: …and Lows?
HC: Lows… for a sad reason. At the Atlanta International Pop Festival 1970… the crowd estimates vary even today between 200,000 and 600,000 people… 750,000 was the count the artists were given…much larger than Woodstock. This was deep South… we had played The Hungry I in SF with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and were told by them ”You all can come”…it was their nod of approval to our music… as we performed on stage at the festival we were buzzed repeatedly by a series of Lear and larger jets… no other act had that happen… We were told later that Lester Maddox had orchestrated that as a show of his objection…
SJF: What differentiates you as a composer, writer, performer, former therapist, corporate biz guy?
HC: I don’t have a clue….but maybe? I’ve always loved lyric and loved word play… as a 5 year-old, I went to a school with first thru eighth grade in the same classroom and above the black board the alphabet and numbers were written out … I stared and then saw U R N U 2 B 4 U 4 U R 1 U C A B U T U Q U 2 B U. U 1 2 B 4 U? I 1 2 B 4 U 2! OG.
Language in Thought and Action by S.I Hiyakawa was my English book in high school. Albert Upton was my freshman college English professor and he was Hiyakawa’s chief semantic rival. I was partnered with the original Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) research team and was the first person certified to train for the Process Communication Model(PCM), the only two process models for human interaction…
All that to say I have had an extraordinary exposure to how words affect people, and I am pretty sure I’ve never looked at a phrase with that lens consciously.
SJF: Tell us about The Geeze & Me
HC: I would love to see The Geeze & Me on Broadway… In Vegas, and Branson and touring groups in regional theaters all over… I would love folks to feel that passion of “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings and there ain’t a lady fat enough to sing for this generation …” I would like people to hear the research regarding aging and feel empowered. I’d like to stand outside a theater in NY and hear people humming or singing “HOW OLD DO YOU FEEL?”
SJF: I am singing that tune all the time already!
SJF: What is your strongest asset?
HC: I love people! And I think I understand their worth.
SJF: Tell us two wonderful things and two difficult aspects of being YOU
HC: 1. I love the way my mind works especially with words… as they flutter by like Butterflies…Or like the way I hear Guilt and my mind says “it’s just decorative stuff that goes around mirrors (gilt) unless you put U in it… or being ‘now and here’ is really being ‘nowhere’ where you know where you are… I have developed a patience in my late 60’s that I never dreamed I’d have…2. Difficult aspects… my grief is way too close to the surface… I see it too clearly in too many places too much of the time.
SJF: Tell me what makes Hedges “TICK”
HC: I use to say “I’m just moving slide to slide and sucking on the main stream… but I think I was just being flippant… I think I just want to see my kids headed to something that might be full with enough joy to be really worthwhile and I still want to see a bit of tomorrow.
SJF: If you had to do it over again…how would you choose what do in life as a career/profession?
HC: I have been blessed to have done exactly as I dreamed.
SJF: What two things don’t we know about you?
HC: I don’t know what you do know so it’s hard to know what you don’t but…If you have asked me something I will tell you. I haven’t found it useful to hide
SJF: What are your fears??…
HC: I’ve had anxiety attacks at different times in my life that were debilitating… I think as a result of several years of drug experimenting… sniff, swallow or smoke without question…a really stupid period. Fortunately for me the era of designer drugs had not arrived then or I may have died as my son did.
I think I also fear I was not the father I should have been… my kids deny this but how can we ever really know?
SJF: Any regrets?
HC: 1- Not having been able to prevent my son’s death. 2- Not being cleaner with how I separated from Donna… I didn’t want to be the “bad” guy and so I drug things out instead of saying “I won’t do this, I’m leaving you.” Explanations can just muddy the water and invite attempts to change ones mind.
It is hard to have regrets when you are given the opportunity to live a life long dream. At 7 or 8 that’s what I wanted. At 7 we went to the Grand Canyon and my folks put my sister and me on the mule ride at the bottom of the canyon. It seemed like my mule wanted to nibble on things growing on the fall and you die side of the path. I was in tears but the path is too narrow to turn around or dismount and walk back so I had to go all the way… I cried until I realized my fear was unfounded… but my parents could hear me singing filling the Grand Canyon with joy for 45 minutes before the mules reached the top.
… if I reach for one regret, it’s that I didn’t do a better job of keeping clippings and songs and the journal writing I sometimes did… Moving as much as I did I never kept “things”- I would love to have been able to share those with my kids.. but … And the songs that were written that have been forgotten.
SJF: An ideal week for you would be…
HC: Watching The Geeze and Me on Broadway with my family and friends- playing golf (well!) with my buds.. singing … eating Swiss enchiladas.. swimming in warm water, walking on the beach at sunrise and again at sunset… hearing the world laugh … discovering that there really is an afterlife that works well enough to make any pain of this life irrelevant … KNOWING that I did what I was here to do, knowing, without a doubt.
SJF: What have been your life hurdles?
HC: 1. I was told at 16 my sibilance was so bad I would for sure never be able to be a recording artist…2. My height: I was 4’11” as a Junior in high School 3. I can’t sing the way I want to sing… ( I like the way I sing… it’s that there are ways I can’t that I’d love to but I think men don’t have the tool women have…).
I don’t think there have really been any hurdles because my life is evidence that I haven’t been stopped. There are things I haven’t done but the choice to not pursue has been mine, I have stopped.
Meet Nancy Locke Capers by Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications
Photos courtesy of Hedges Capers and Nancy Locke Capers
Q & A with Nancy Locke Capers by Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications
SJF: Tell us about your upbringing, family, siblings, schooling, etc.
NLC: I was born in the SPAM capital of the world – Austin, Minn. We were solid middle-class. I grew up in Minnesota & Mt. Lebanon, Pittsburgh. Came to Glendale, California when I was 11. My Mother was a singer and housewife and my Dad was a businessman.
I have an older brother who is an international trade Attorney and previously worked in the White House as Legal Counsel under former Presidents Nixon & Ford. My sister, ordained in the Episcopal Church, was a Chaplain at San Francisco General Hospital in the 80s, during the A.I.D.S. epidemic. I returned to school at age 40 and have my Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology. (Still think about going for my PhD. I’m a knowledge-hound.)
SJF: When did you begin acting?
NLC: I began acting when I was tapped for a Kimbie’s diapers hidden camera commercial with my baby son. Shortly thereafter, Geoff Lewis (Juliette Lewis’s wonderful dad) walked into my kitchen and asked me if I wanted to be in a movie. I said, “Sure.” He coached me on how to audition on the way to the meeting at Sunset Plaza, with the director, Floyd Mutrux. I auditioned, and when it was clear I was a terrible actor, he said “I have a waitress part with 11 or 12 lines. Do you think you could handle that?” and I was off to the races. A friend of mine, Robert F. Lyons, began teaching acting around this time and thought I might enjoy taking classes. I studied with him for two years before going on my 2nd audition.
SJF: Who have you taken private lessons with?
NLC: In acting: Milton Katselas, Robert F. Lyons, Joan Darling, John Voight. In Producing: Ron Schwartz, Jim Aubrey. Directing: Garry Marshall, Ulu Grossbard, Dwight Little, etc. You pick up a lot just being around a set.
SJF: Were you always enthused about acting?
NLC: Not at all. I didn’t really begin until I was 30. My son was a baby and so I didn’t start seriously auditioning until I was 30.
SJF: What are some highlights of your acting career?
NLC: “Pretty Woman” of course was so much fun to work on. I learned a lot from Garry Marshall and how he handled actors. True Confessions with Robert Duvall and Robert De Niro – I worked in a scene (later cut), but he was the kindest, most generous man. He completely normalized any nerves I was feeling. By the way, Milton Katselas used to say that “nerves are our talent trying to get out.” He put a positive frame on having nerves. He also said, “If you’re not nervous then you should be concerned.” That might be a tip-off that you’ll give a flat performance.
SJF: Have there been any low times?
NLC: I was previously married to an actor/director/writer and so we were each doing our separate jobs. The low times were really when the jobs weren’t coming in and the bank account was running out. Ninety-nine percent of SAG members don’t make a living at acting. We were able to live nicely and reap the benefits of being working actors. I made a decision not to do on-location work, which definitely impacted my hire-ability. I wanted to be a mom to my son and step-daughter. I’m not sure that I experienced “low time” because of it, but I felt it was more important to have a responsible adult at home, and my former spouse was working actively during that period and wasn’t able to provide childcare.
SJF: Any Pretty Woman stories?
NLC: Yes, but not sure I’d want to go public with them. Richard Gere was a perfect gentleman and quite kind. Jason Alexander was hilarious. Julia was like a fresh colt, very excited to be working on the film, along with everyone else.
SJF: Jane Fonda stories?
NLC: I was a spokesperson for Jane Fonda Work-Out Wear in the ’80s. They chose 3 women out of 700, so I felt incredibly lucky. We met. She congratulated me on getting the job. She was very kindhearted.
SJF: What differentiates you as a director, performer, person, actor, therapist, corporate biz person?
NLC: Hmmm. My humor? My curiosity in all things? My experiences with tragedy. I’m not sure. But I lost my parents at ages 18 & 26, so all three of us (me, sister, brother) have fairly wicked senses of humor as a coping mechanism. I think it’s a survival mechanism for those struck with tragedy as a young person. All my life I’ve found most people endlessly interesting. This, of course, reflects the kind of work I’ve chosen as an actor, writer and psychotherapist.
SJF: Tell us about The Geeze & Me
NLC: It began as a lark. Hedges had some unrecorded songs that were fantastic. I’d been missing the theatre world, so I thought maybe I could fashion a love story around those existing songs. But then, I (or he, one forgets who brings what to the table in collaboration) decided to do something about aging. We’re the largest demographic of elders in the history of the world.
So, Hedges went to bed at night and would wake up with this wonderful, funny, deep music that surprised both of us. It just came rolling out of him. He used to be a staff writer at A & M, so he knew songwriting structure. And so then I had to actually learn how to write a musical. This was tortuous and enchanting, but I don’t have a musical bone in my body. Thank goodness he was so prolific. At some point, we both began collaborating on the book. Somewhere (when it was still a little theater idea) it became clear that I would direct it-which was and is terrifying. It would be terrific if it had legs and went on to tour in regional theatres, etc.
SJF: What is your strongest asset?”
NLC: My publicist.
SJF: LOL!!! Thanks, Nancy! You make my work easy!
SJF: Tell us two wonderful things about being a Psychotherapist.
NLC: Two wonderful things:
1. It is an honor to do the psychotherapeutic work I do. When people say, “Ugh, how can you stand listening to problems all day” I don’t understand why they think this is difficult or depressing. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s energizing when someone talks with you on a deep, intimate level that does not often happen outside of the office. It’s invigorating to give another the space to explore safely. It’s a privilege.
2. Seeing suffering in all its disparate forms is humbling.
SJF: And two difficult aspects as a Psychotherapist?:
NLC: 1. I can’t fix them in 10 minutes. I have to let them take the time they need to heal and arrange their life differently or get out of a bad relationship. 2. There’s a chronic sense of loss in my job. People move, people don’t need you anymore, people have a hard time staying in therapy when they should – so, one learns to deal with it, but you invest YOURSELF in your clients. That’s a big part of the job. It’s in the relationship, the trust, the consistency, the non-judgmental dialog that allows a patient to heal.
SJF: Tell me…what makes Nancy “TICK”?”
NLC: I’m alive. That, and sheer terror. Joking. Kind of.
SJF: If you had to do it over again…how would you choose what do in life as a career/profession?
NLC: Well, primarily, I would not join a cult (Scientology). That was really an attempt to grab ahold of something, anything that gave me structure and the appearance of answers at that point of my life. I could have studying for my PhD. But I think you have to be allowed to explore and pay attention to what turns you on. Go where your passion leads you, if you’re lucky enough to have the time and financial support to do so. I think “following your bliss” just is not an option for most people, but that changes with age. For me I’ve been allowed to return to the world of the theatre which I’ve been away from for 20 years.
SJF: What two things don’t we know about you?
NLC: That I know how to make a delicious Hartquist Spring Salad Sandwich. And that I was on TWA flight 840 that exploded in mid-air over Greece.as a result of a terrorist bomb in 1986. I was on my way to Greece to meet my former husband on a film he was making. Ten days later I had to fly to South Africa as the lead in a film (Hostage) about terrorism, shooting in the fuselage of a plane for six weeks. We then had to go to Dallas to shoot a film we’d written.
SJF: What are your fears?
NLC: I think I have the usual fears that all parents have. I fear something happening to my son. Losing my stepson at age 20 was, and is, indescribably sad. Oddly enough, I don’t fear flying.
SJF: How do you “give back”?
NLC: We’re donating 50% of The Geeze & Me revenues to: A New Path, PATH, LGBT Senior Care, and The Unbattle Project. We’ve also given to the UCSD Center for Healthy Aging.
SF: Any regrets?
NLC: Of course.
SJF: Enough said!
SJF: Ideal week for you would be…NLC: Travel to Maui, read a great novel, swim in the ocean with mi amoré. (Kind of what I do here anyway….)
SJF: What have been your life hurdles? Successes?”
NLC: Overcoming panic disorder. Feeling like I’m not “enough”. Not being thin enough. Not being pretty enough. You know, typical American woman hurdles.
Successes? As I look back on my life, I’m aware that I’ve felt chosen by casting directors, by a director, by the producer. But I am also aware that it’s a roll of the dice. I’m not sure I take any particular pride in being chosen. I think the successes also had to do with persistence. You just kept doing it. And I was able to keep doing it because of nepotism or having a good day at that audition, or knowing the right person. I learned at some point that the confidence game is really about acting “as if.” I’ve seen major actors get squeamish if they have a crying scene coming up, whereas I’d worked with “lesser” actors who could cry on a dime. If one chooses a profession in theatre/films, you have to love doing it. It’s terribly hard on people because of the rejection rate. But, Mark Ruffalo went on 600 auditions before being chosen. You have to be good enough when you stumble upon an opportunity.
I tend to be a risk-taker. For example, this is my first time directing a musical. I have great support from extremely talented others – BJ (musical director), Hedges, having a great staff, fantastic cast. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway. That’s how we grow.
SJF: Who is your inspiration?
NLC: My mother. I’ve gotten to live the life she would have loved.
SJF: What are your 5 year and 10 year goals?
NLC: Seriously? That goal setting never works for me. Even when I’ve been diligent. I never said, “I’m going land a part on Dynasty in 5 years!” So much of my life has been being in the right place at the right time. I’m not sure I ever really consciously set a goal. Perhaps I should have. You know, I’d decide to take a class in screenplay writing (from Syd Fields) and then I’d write a couple of mediocre scripts, then I’d work on something and someone would show interest in it. So much of acting, writing, selling a script, getting my masters degree – it was all so pleasurable, with just the right amount of challenge.
SJF: Describe your dreams.
NLC: VIVID. I know you’re talking about BIG DREAMS, but I’m talking about nightly, very vivid, wild, entertaining dreams since I’ve begun directing The Geeze & Me. What subconscious?
SJF: Describe three pivotal events in your life.
NLC: My Father’s death. My Mother’s death. Marrying mi amour.
SJF: Role models- male and female?
NLC: Hmmm, well, I tend to be suspicious of role models, of idealizing an individual and projecting onto them all of my ideas about who they are. But you know who comes to mind? Béyoncé. I know. I’m a 68-yr. old white woman, but watch Drunk, In Love and tell me she’s not got it going on. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1JPKLa-Ofc) It’s hard to do overt sexuality and not feel used at the end of the day. And she’s brave enough to go for it. Hillary Clinton. President Obama’s grace and elegance. Jon Stewart’s genius. Stephen Colbert’s limitless mind.
SJF: Where are your favorite La Jolla/San Diego places? Your favorite places for a vacation?
NLC: In La Jolla – George’s; A small Greek restaurant called Cafe Athena in Pacific Beach, La Valencia Hotel for breakfast, Come On In’s cornmeal pancakes. My ideal vacation: on a beach anywhere. Paris, like most everyone. Lisbon. London. Monemvasia, Greece. Two Bunch Palms in Desert Hot Springs. I’m not a Trump Tower person, and I like small, manageable, places that feel personal. It’s a feeling I get in a place. But Jerusalem would be good, too.
SJF: Any memorable live performance experiences (or other), and why?
NLC: Anthony Hopkins in Equus. Raw power. I was sitting in the front row and I was certain that Anthony Hopkins delivered his monologue to me. Which is how great actors make you feel…
I also saw a recent production of The Normal Heart at the Diversionary Theatre that about ripped mine out of my chest. I can’t remember being so deeply struck by anything like that in a long time. Really visceral. The play is about the A.I.D.S. crisis hitting in the 80s in San Francisco. My sister was a Chaplain at San Francisco General at that time, and I recall vividly our conversations about what they were seeing then. About all the men who were dying. She saw it firsthand. The production, directed by Kim Strassberger and Claudio Raygoza was superb.
Many thanks, Hedges and Nancy for giving us a peek into your lives! It’s been a pleasure interviewing you!
The Geeze & Me
What if there was a musical – simultaneously serious and hilarious, that explores the wild ride of life’s later years, addressing the good, the bad and the ugly of aging? The Geeze & Me is a musical production about the aging process, upsides and down. The World Premiere of The Geeze & Mewill be presented in San Diego, March 31 – April 29 at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center.
The Geeze & Me Production/Creative Team includes: Original Music/Lyrics by Hedges Capers and Book written by Hedges Capers and Nancy Locke Capers. Produced and Directed by Nancy Locke Capers. Musical Direction by Will (B.J.) Robinson, Choreography by Joanne Lovejoy, Sound & Video by Joe Huppert, Costume Design by Max Cadillac, Lighting Design by Cynthia Bloodgood,Script Consultant Dilip Jeste, M.D., and Danielle K. Glorioso, L.C.S.W., in consultation with UCSD Center for Healthy Aging at UCSD, PR/Media/Press by Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications, Casting by Samuel Warren & Associates, , with Brendan Hill as Assistant Director and Beonica Bullard as Stage Manager.
THE GEEZE AND ME CAST: Devlin (Kay), Hedges Capers (David), Kent Brisby (Bob), Byron La Due (Howard), Gabriela Nelson (Sherry), Jesse MacKinnon (Dwight), Lorraine Devon Wilke (Helen), Lolly Boroff (Mrs. Dingler), Susan Benninghoff (Miranda), Kiera Mersky (Bobbi & Margo), Lauren Preski (Margret), Erin Vanderhyde (Homeless), Susie Singer Carter (Science & Ginger) and Scotty Billion (Undertaker).
The Geeze & Me is a funny, irreverent, and poignant show about surviving aging. This timely show features a comedic troupe of eccentric players who team up to wrangle aspects of aging from an expert. An eclectic blend of songs ranging from pop to blues to corner street doo-wop, accompanied by electric choreography and state of the art projections. The perils and benefits of growing older are reflected in the concerns of this diverse
SCHEDULE: Previews/Pay what you can with a casttalkback following the preview performances March 29 & 30th. Performances: March 31 – April 29, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.
LOCATION:The Tenth Avenue Arts Center, 930 10th Ave, San Diego 92101
For press info, interviews, photos or press comps, please contact: Susan J. Farese,
What if there was a musical – simultaneously serious and hilarious, that explores the wild ride of life’s later years, addressing the good, the bad and the ugly of aging?
Rag Lady Productions is thrilled to announce the World Premiere of THE GEEZE & ME, a new musical featuring a troupe of baby boomers who sing, dance, and hobble their way through issues of retirement, mobility, and more. At THE TENTH Avenue Arts Center downtown, San Diego, March 31st through April 29th.
THE GEEZE & ME Production/Creative Team includes: Original Music/Lyrics by Hedges Capers and Book written by Hedges Capers and Nancy Locke Capers. Produced and Directed by Nancy Locke Capers. Musical Direction by Will (B.J.) Robinson, Choreography by Joanne Lovejoy, Sound & Video by Joe Huppert, Costume Design by Max Cadillac, Lighting Design by Cynthia Bloodgood, Script Consultants Dilip Jeste, M.D., and Danielle K. Glorioso, L.C.S.W., in consultation with UCSD Center for Healthy Aging, PR/Media/Press by Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications, Casting by Samuel Warren & Associates, ‘Invisible People’ portrait by Artist Neil Shigleywith Brendan Hill as Assistant Director and Beonica Bullard as Stage Manager.
THE GEEZE & MEis a funny, irreverent, and poignant show about surviving aging. This timely show features a comedic troupe of eccentric players who team up to wrangle aspects of aging from an expert. An eclectic blend of songs ranging from pop to blues to corner street doo-wop, accompanied by electric choreography and state of the art projections. The perils and benefits of growing older are reflected in the concerns of this diverse group of people. Think “Hair,” after it’s gone…THIS IS THE DAWNING OF THE AGE OF BEWARE OF US!
THE GEEZE & ME Promo Video
HEDGES CAPERS – (Music/Lyrics and Book; Playing David, Soap-boxer and Beat Poet)Capitol Records recording artist, singer/songwriter with 8 albums as Hedge & Donna in the late 60’s, early 70’s. A&M staff songwriter. Actor- Title role in The Legend of Hillbilly John. Hundreds of clubs and concerts internationally including Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre, National Arts Center. Every television variety show of the late 60’s (Smothers Brothers, Mike Douglas, the Tonight Show and more.) He later became a Marriage and Family Clinical Counselor, a behavioral consultant and patent holder in the corporate sphere.
Quote from Hedges Capers: “Have you ever done what you wanted in life? If you have, hats off to you. If not, best get busy…living the gift.”- Hedges Capers
NANCY LOCKE CAPERS (Producer, Director, Co-wrote Book) a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, SAG, CAMFT. After 25 years in the film industry as an actress in film (Pretty Woman & 23 film projects), TV, commercials, and theater, as well as theatre producer & director, screenwriter (having one co-written script produced by an independent film company and another bought by Paramount Studios and in development for 2 years.) Capers returned to school and passed the boards to become a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in La Jolla for almost two decades. She also worked as a behavioral consultant in the corporate sphere, both domestically and abroad.
Quote from Nancy Locke Capers: “We both have performing, script writing, show biz backgrounds, so it’s a delight to be able to create a meaningful/hilarious project about aging which we’re both experiencing. Can’t wait to open the show!”- Nancy Capers
JOANNE LOVEJOY (Choreographer) Dancer, teacher, choreographer. As a teen Joanne performed along side the Bright Side Singers in Bob Hope’s USO shows in California; singer and dancer for Cabaret Review” produced by On The Town Productions, numerous productions with the Rhythm-Aire Players, including Rhythm is our Business and Final Encore. She choreographed Annie and Little Shop of Horrors at the Lyceum. For the past twelve years she has been on the teaching staff at several local dance studios including S.D. Danceworks and Culture Shock Dance Center. Please see more at: https://www.metrodancesd.com/joanne-lovejoy/.
JOE HUPPERT (Sound and Video Designer) Previously at San Diego Repertory Theater, The Oldest Boy(Craig Noel Award). Other local video designs include This Wonderful Life for North Coast Rep, Glengarry Glen Ross for La Jolla Playhouse and The Elephant Man with Backyard Renaissance. As sound designer, shows include Blueprints to Freedom, Peter and the Starcatchers (La Jolla Playhouse); Scott Joplin, Extraordinary Chambers, Yellow Face, Stick Fly, Kita Y Fernanda, 26 Miles (Mo’Olelo); Urinetown, Over the Tavern, King O’ The Moon (Mercury Theater); Mr. Burns (UCSD).
MAX CADILLAC (Costume Designer) Working on such an exciting new show brings Max the greatest joy. He recently finished costuming for 9 to 5: The Musical at San Diego Musical Theatre (SDMT) as well as their holiday classic White Christmas. Working closely with Janet Pitcher, he has also costumed My Fair Lady at The Welk Resort, and looks forward to continue working with Janet. Max loves all aspects of costuming and fashion, including recently modeling for San Diego Opera. Performing throughout his home town of San Diego at Cygnet, SDMT, Moonlight, and The Welk Resort, Max is thrilled to play Lillias Pastia in San Diego Opera’s upcoming The Tragedy of Carmen, March 10-12. BFA, Musical Theatre (AMDA). A big OLD thank you to the cast and crew, his incredible geezer parents, and of course Susan Farese for making this happen.
CYNTHIA BLOODGOOD (Lighting Designer) Freelance Designer and Technician, Technical Theatre Teacher at La Jolla Country Day School, Technical Director San Diego Junior Theatre. BA from BYU, 1999.
DILIP JESTE, M.D. (Script Consultant) is a geriatric neuropsychiatrist, who specializes in successful aging, neurobiology of wisdom as well as schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders in older adults. He is the Senior Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Senior Care at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Director, UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging, Estelle and Edgar Levi Chair in Aging, and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry & Neurosciences in consultation with UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging. Watch his excellent TED Talk: http://tedmed.com/talks/show?id=526815. Quote from Dilip Jeste: “It’s wonderful to see our Research turned into art.”- Dilip Jeste, M.D.
DANIELLE K. GLORIOSO (Script Consultant) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been a member of the UC San Diego Division of Geriatric Psychiatry since 2001. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging and the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging.
SUSAN J. FARESE (PR, Media/Press) Owner, SJF Communications in San Diego. RN, MSN, SAG-AFTRA. Provides personalized Marketing/PR/Social Media/Writing/Photography/Video Services /Coaching/Legal Nurse Consulting. www.sjfcommunications.com
SAMUEL WARREN (Casting) Samuel Warren International Casting Services Member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a Casting Society of America Member and affiliated with the Better Business Bureau http://www.samuelwarren.com/
NEIL SHIGLEY (Artist) Fox television story on Neil’s portrait of a homeless man won a 2013 Emmy. His most recent work consists of large-scale portraits of homeless people near his studio in San Diego. His work has been exhibited internationally. We are honored that he will be doing a portrait of our Homeless woman which will be on display in theatre lobby. http://neilshigley.com/
BRENDAN A. HILL (Assistant Director) BFA in Dramatic Writing from Purchase College, SUNY. Company Manager at Food for Thought Productions/Cause Celebre for 6 yrs., plays produced at Ensemble Studio Theatre, NYC, semi-finalist for the O’Neill Natl. Playwrights Conference and Clubbed Thumb’s Biennial Commission. Three plays produced in Paris. Eight years in NYC theatre community receiving readings, workshops and small productions from 2012 – 2016.
BEONICA BULLARD (Stage Manager) is completing her BA at San Diego State University in General Theater. As a stage manager, she has worked with the SDSU School of Theater, Television, and Film on shows such as Julius Caesar, Into The Woods and The BFG. Also worked with Intrepid Shakespeare Company, Quality of Life, Comic-Conand the Plays By Young Writers Festival 2015 & 2016.
HEDGES CAPERS (DAVID, SOAPBOXER and BEAT POET)formerly of Hedge & Donna in the late 60s, Hedges performed in Carnegie Hall, the Greek Theatre, Hollywood Bowl, on the Smothers Brothers Show and many others. Starring in The Legend of Hillbilly John, he returns to the stage as co-author of the book and writer of all music and lyrics.
KENT BRISBY (BOB) Kent focuses mainly on original work, appearing in 2015 in The Pitch starring Paul Rodriguezand the upcoming Three Kings/Tres Reyes this holiday season. Toured nationally, appeared on more than a dozen local stages as an actor. As a playwright and director he has many more local credits, including projects at the Old Globe and San Diego Zoo. He currently serves as Artistic Director for Asian Story Theater, as well as Radio Theater for KPBS, AirStage and Radio Lunch. (Just down the street he is a co-author and director of a new play Halo-Halo at the Lyceum Space through April 9. Bring your GEEZE & ME ticket stub for discount admission). KLBrisby.com.
BYRON LaDUE (HOWARD) Byron LaDue is a veteran performer at many San Diego area theatres, including recent productions as Paul Gauguin in Prick (San Diego Fringe Festival), Gauguin in The Musical Paul Gauguin (Asian Story Theatre), and Willum in The Nerd, (Coronado Playhouse). Byron also has notable credits at The Old Globe Theatre, San Diego Rep, and the former Starlight Theatre, Gaslamp Quarter Theatre, Hahn Cosmopolitan Theatre and Marquis Theatre. Byron has a BA in Drama from San Diego State University. Extensive improv experience. Winner of the Best Actor Atlas Award as Big Harp in Robber Bridegroom and Winner, Comedy Festival as Duke Ladoo in The Piparoos Live at the Globe.
GABRIELA NELSON (SHERRY) Considerable stage, screen and recording artist who has worked nationally and internationally. She’s a former 80’s icon (NBC TV series regular of KIDD VIDEO). Recent San Diego appearances include SD Rep, 10th Ave Arts, La Jolla Playhouse, Black Box Theatre, The Horton Grand and Spreckels. Gabby also writes for the Latin Performing Arts Community.
JESSE MacKINNON (DWIGHT) Jesse is the recipient of the San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award and The San Diego Playbill Award for Outstanding Performance in a Drama as Eddie Carbone in A View From The Bridge (Renaissance Theater). Other regional credits include: Jules in Sunday in the Park With George (ION Theatre); Roy Cohn in Angels In America (ION Theatre); Henry Peabody in Tobacco Road (La Jolla Playhouse); MacDuff in MacBeth (Intrepid Shakespeare); Polymester in Hecuba, (6th@Penn), Renee Gallimard in M. Butterfly (Diversionary); Horace Vandergelder Hello Dolly (Lambs Players); Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol (North Coast Rep); Henri Fontannes The Magic Fire (Moonlight at the Avo); Pharoah in Aida (Starlight); Emil De Becq in South Pacific (Lambs Players); Pop in Pajama Game (Starlight); Pat Denning in 42ndStreet (Welk Theatre) and Major Ed Lansdale Dooley at Diversionary Theatre.
LOLLY BOROFF (MRS. DINGLER) Actress/writer/director, Lolly is the daughter of the late George Boroff of The Circle Theatre, and niece of Academy Award winning actress Shelley Winters. Her acting credits include the original Broadway cast of The Effect Of Gamma Rays On Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds, films Blue Thunder and Star 80, and TV’sI Didn’t Know I WasPregnant, 1000 Ways To Die, and America’s Court With Judge Ross; has appeared on stage in All My Sons, The Dixie Swim Club and The Vagina Monologues; recently directed A Long Way To Midnight, at the Lyceum Theatre. Wrote, directed and produced her first film, Think Tank. She has appeared in several commercials, and loves performing improv and stand-up.
SUSAN BENNINGHOFF (MIRANDA) Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Susan is currently director of the legendary San Diego Playwrights development group, Scripteasers as well as musical and stage work including the Phoenix Performing Arts Center.
KIERA MERSKY (BOBBI & MARGO) Having worked in live shows (Universal Studios), theatre productions as a dancer and actress and in commercials, Kiera received her B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Temple University.
LAUREN PRESKI (MARGRET)Natl. Assn of Singing Teachers – 2nd place, NC, Back to the 80s – Moronga Casino,Last Chance Romance, Property of the Dallas Cowboys, Don Giovanni, Legoland – live shows, Six Flags, America – Wonder Woman.
ERIN VANDERHYDE (HOMELESS) Presently at San Diego State University (SDSU) Erin is pursuing her Bachelors of Arts Degree in General Theatre. Entertainer at Legoland. Theatre: Jesus Christ Superstar, The Drowsy Chaperone, Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights (SDSU), Hairspray,Godspell, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Legally Blonde, Footloose and Ragtime at Young Actors Theatre (YAT). Associates Degree in Music, Grossmont College.
SUSIE SINGER CARTER (SCIENCE & GINGER) As well as an acting history, Sue has also had success as a writer and is a talented singer as well. Also playing Ginger, here’s more about Sue: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0802053/ Sue has recently completed shooting a short film she wrote and directed, My Mom and The Girl, with Valerie Harper and Liz Torres.
SCOTTY BILLION(UNDERTAKER) Scott became involved in music at a young age. He sings vocals in Madman SD, a cover band for Ozzy Osborne. He is making his acting debut in The Geeze & Me.
After 16 years of waiting in the wings, Nobel Prize winner Samuel Beckett’s absurdist masterpiece WAITING FOR GODOT returns to San Diego stages with the fruitlessmoon theatreworks 2016 production at White Box Live Arts, Produced and Directed by fruitlessmoon theatreworks’ Artistic Director, Aimee Greenberg.
My serendipitous connection with two-time Telly Award winning Filmmaker Sue Vicory began in 2015. It was meant to be! San Diego filmmaker/entrepreneur/educator Jodi Cilley, the President of the Film Consortium San Diego and the founder and producer of the annual San Diego Film Awards (and an equally extraordinary person) recommended that I connect with her film colleague Sue. Jodi was so intuitive in facilitating our connection (which I hope will last a lifetime)!
A quote about Sue from Jodi:
“Sue Vicory is one of the most inspiring and amazing people I know. She has dedicated her life to helping others and has gone out of her way to help build the film industry in San Diego in a variety of ways. She is a role model and I’m constantly amazed by her efforts to help people from all walks of life.” – Jodi Cilley
After reaching out to Sue via email, my daughter Emmy and I were cast in the short fiction film Downstage for the 2015 San Diego 48 Hour Film Project. Sue’s production company “Heartland Films” produced and Sue directed, along with the writing team of Sariann Monaco, Holly Rone and Talia Pauletti. “Team XX” was a history-making, twenty-five member, all-female team. Downstage is now on the film festival circuit. You can view Sue’s films and videos on Sue Vicory’s YouTube Channel. Read my previous post about Team XX .
Besides working on Downstage Emmy and I have participated in a few of Sue’s community service projects and we continually network. It was because of witnessing Sue’s purpose, passion, vigor and selfless “chill” demeanor that I decided to interview her here as an Extraordinary Person, Sharing her Story!
Sue is currently on an amazing one year trip across the U.S. in her branded van with her “extraordinary” “My Power of One” (MPO1) 12 Acts of Kindness National Tour”. Her recently retired and extremely supportive husband Jay and their amazing (will tell you why later) Golden Retriever Kacy are accompanying her.
If not, the best way to describe it is a whirlwind weekend of tight deadlines, a love of the craft of filmmaking, an appetite for team building and bonding and a love for creativity. What more could film aficionados ask for? Oh, there’s also a screening on the “big screen” for each team soon after the weekend of filming!
How does it work? A team is formed and over one weekend, a short film (under 8 minutes, including a minute of credits) is written, filmed, edited and submitted within 48 hours! You might be saying “Are you kidding me”? NO, this is really how it works!
What’s the procedure? On Friday evening, in an orderly fashion, each team randomly picks a “genre”, (in San Diego there was a giant “plinko board” that teams took turns at), after which all teams are assigned the same line, character and prop that MUST be included in their film. For this 48 Hour Film Project. We’ll get to Team XX ‘ challenge soon!
Read more about the San Diego 48 Hour Film Project, which took place July 24-26, 2015. The event is Produced by Duane Trammell and Robyn Sarvis, and the website includes information about the Project, the film “Premiere” Screenings August 10-13, the “Best Of” Screenings and the wrap party August 22nd.
Producer/Director Sue Vicory, of Heartland Films (www.suevicory.com, Sue Vicory, IMDB Link) formed, Executive Produced and Directed the first “all-female” 27 member “Team, XX” film titled “Down Stage” for the 2015 San Diego 48 Hour Film Project.
“Down Stage”, a Holiday Film, will screen with 12 other film entries in Group A at 6:30 p.m., plus about 13 films in Group B at 9:00 p.m. at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15 on 701 5th Ave. in the Downtown Gaslamp District of San Diego (92101) on Monday, August 10, 2015. Tickets are $15 for the “Premiere” Screenings and $20 for the “Best Of” screenings. Tickets
Team XX at the Horton Grand Theatre. Photo by Nannette DeRobertis
Vicory had several “bonding” meetings with most of the 27 members of the cast and crew (mostly from Southern California) a few weeks before the actual filming weekend. One such meeting had the 10 actresses, performing in a “mock talent show” audition which featured a variety of techniques, such as monologues, singing, dancing and improv.
With Vicory and a few Team XX’ers present, Team XX Assistant Director Jen Allen drew the genre “Holiday Film” for Team XX at the “kickoff” event at Liberty Station on Friday evening, August 24. The designated line for all teams was “Sometimes that’s (or that is) all you need”, the prop to be used was a “flashlight” and the character was to be either “Alan or Alice Downing, a Coach”.
Team XX writers included Sariann Monaco, Talia Pauletti and Holly Rone. The multigenerational writing team cranked out the “Down Stage” script about Mother’s Day within a few hours from Friday evening into Saturday early morning at Vicory’s seaside condo.
The crew included: Sue Vicory: Executive Producer/Director; Lori Jones: Producer, Jen McCleary: Assistant Director; Maidy Morhous: Production Assistant. Amanda Niles: Sound; Angela Wong: Director of Photography; Kymberrly Scott: 2nd A.D.; Krystin Cline: 2nd Camera; Tamara Ilich: Gaffer; Cara Myers: Editor; Natalie Lauer: Production Assistant; Danni Michele: Animation; Nannette DeRobertis: Photographer; Sariann Monaco: Writer; Talia Pauletti: Writer; Holly Rone: Writer; Corrinne Smith: Communications; Pamela Weigelt: Massuese; Miranda Muse: Massuese; Lisa Wintersdorff: Makeup; Crystle Orantez: Hair; Susan Farese: Public Relations. Special Thanks to SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and Derek Johnston at the Horton Grand Theatre.
Team XX filmed Down Stage at the Horton Grand Theatre throughout Saturday, August 25th. In the meantime, editor Cara Myers began the editing process from her hotel suite at the Horton Grand Hotel as soon as Saturday’s footage became available and into Sunday with only one “pickup” of a voiceover on Sunday morning. Serendipitously, the “7 minute 29 second” completed film, “Down Stage” was turned in to the 48 Hour Film Project at 7:29 p.m.
I asked Sue Vicory about her experience with Team XX and the 48 Hour Film Project. Vicory stated “The passion within this group was palpable. We each brought our A Game to the production. Collaboration is a natural strength for women and it shows up clearly on the screen of our first film, “Down Stage”.
Down Stage will have a Premiere Screening with over 20 other films on Monday, August 10th at starting at 6:30 at the Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15, 701 5th Ave. San Diego, 92121. Here is the Ticket Link. Note: You must purchase tickets online, there will be no ticket purchases at the theatre.