Friends

The Denise Baker Group

You could have knocked me down with a feather. I was Google-searching old friends one day and for the hell of it decided to see if I could find out what happened to Denise Baker, who I haven’t spoken with since the end of high school. (Click here to see her picture in “The Golden Doom,” which is pretty much as I remember her.) Now here she is fronting a jazz ensemble and looking like she’s having the time of her life. Go, Denise!

 

 

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Today Buddies is Canada’s premiere gay-lesbian professional theatre with its own building in Toronto. Back when I knew it, it was just the name that Sky Gilbert and Ken McDougall used to produce whatever madcap idea came into their heads. Here’s the little-child theatre company all grown up & now doing great things. And just like an uncle, I’m very proud.

 

Chris Bartleman / Studio B Productions

Speaking of high school, Chris and I were friends back before either of us could shave. Now all these years later, he’s become a very successful animator and is one of the co-founders of a top studio in Vancouver, BC.

 

Casey Biggs

Here is a terrific web site (designed by the very talented Diane Taylor) devoted to my pal Casey Biggs, who is not only a wonderful actor but also did a positively brilliant job directing “The Sea Gull,” “Three Sisters” and “Richard III” these past few years. As it happens, I was in all three ... much to my very good fortune.

 

 

Jonathan Brent

Here’s an online resume for Jonathan Brent, who became my pal when he and I appeared together in ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore at the Odyssey Theatre back in the fall of 2000. Jonathan’s a wonderful talent - particularly adept at dealing with nitwit fellow-actors who forget their props (i.e., me - see the ‘Tis Pity page for the full story).

 

Circus Theatricals

A bustling Los Angeles-based theatre company with whom I’ve been privileged to work for the past few years. Run by the husband-and-wife team of Jack Stehlin (actor and artistic director) and Jeannine Welles (producing director).

 

 

Kathleen Dunn

Hear me, now: Kathy Dunn is one of the finest actresses I’ve ever seen. She makes a living teaching in the Drama Department at Santa Monica College, but don’t let that fool you: since meeting her in 2001 I’ve watched her create a series of stage portrayals that are governed by consummate taste and skill. The closest thing I can compare her to is some kind of combination of Tyne Daly and Meryl Streep - and if that isn’t arresting enough for you, let me add that whenever I watch Kathleen act I feel lucky to have eyes and ears. If there is any justice under heaven she will be widely recognized someday as the genius she is. I wish I were half this good.

 

Dan Finnerty and The Dan Band

Dan Finnerty looks like your average overage teenager, ball cap on backwards, baggy pants hanging low, living out every dude’s fantasy at the front of his own kick-ass rock band. One difference, however, is the set list. Dan and the Dan Band throw themselves headfirst into songs like “I Am Woman,” “Half Breed,” “Lady Marmalade,” and others from the female side of pop’s gender line. The effect is hilarious and exhilarating. Go to their site, get on their list, go see them play. It’ll change your life.

 

Allison Foust

My two favorite things on this site are probably “The Girl Who Lost Her Tongue” and “Coffee Joe”. But maybe you’ll prefer the singing dinosaur? Allison was an actress when I first knew her; now she’s a web designer and, as ever, a talent from heaven. Go, see, enjoy. It’s amazing.

 

Mo Gaffney

A gifted comedienne, writer, actress and many other things too, Mo’s been my pal since my New York days. We’re both so busy, though, that I rarely see her these days unless I drop by her website. Do the same when you get a chance; it’s a great way to keep up with a lovely person and very, very gifted performer.

 

Jill Gascoine

Where or where is there a good website devoted to Jill Gascoine? All I can seem to find are generic pages like this one at Fansites.com. Still, I suppose any chance to view her lovely face is something to be grateful for. I love Jill dearly; she and I’ve been in three or four plays together and in each one she’s made me smile inordinately. A simply marvelous talent.

 

Sky Gilbert

Back when I first knew him in the early ‘80s (see Acting Timeline) Sky Gilbert was a fantastic original. He remains one to this day. Playwright, novelist, actor, poet, columnist, drag queen ... Sky does it all. Go visit this, his website (and don’t let the tough-guy pictures fool you).

 

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Steve Gunderson

Steve is a mega-talented guy who isn’t the least bit impressed by it and would prefer to talk about you instead. This is amazing considering his range of accomplishments. I’ve been bugging him for years to get his own website and now he finally has! Go see it ... and when you do, remember that even with all the photos, reviews and music you’re still just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Truly an extraordinary guy. I’m so proud he’s my friend.

 

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Lisa Hansen

I opened my email one day in February 2004 to find an email from Lisa saying she’d just made a website about Fred Molina. I checked it out and thought it was very well done, and so I linked to it (see below). But I’m happy to say that we began an email friendship that continues to this day. Lisa is tough to categorize - equal parts music fan, actor enthusiast, website-maker, poet, and about a dozen other things too. Her many websites reflect this: they’re like a selection of very thick scrapbooks full of writing and pictures and all sorts of other things. Go see for yourself and take your time. This is a delightful young lady worth getting to know.

 

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Tori King

This is the website of my very dear and very talented friend, playwright and actress Tori King. Check it out often - especially for upcoming performances of her one-woman show, “The More Men Weigh.” It’s absolutely wonderful.

 

Alfred Molina

A very well-done website devoted to this lovely man and terrific actor. I’ve had the pleasure of being in two shows with Fred so far, Richard III and The Cherry Orchard, and I can’t wait to do another. But I may have to be patient. He’s had a lot on his plate lately: like a recent revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway and appearing as Doc Ock in “Spiderman II.” Well, I’ll happily cool my heels. It’s high time this marvelous bloke became not just everyone’s favorite actor but a real, honest-to-God A-list sensation as well.

 

Greg Mullavey

Every night in The Cherry Orchard I got to watch Greg make a testimonial speech to a bookcase. Even after countless times I had to work hard to keep a straight face. He’s simply an extraordinary talent. Here’s his page at IMDB.

 

Kathy Najimy

Back in my New York days my closest friend was Steve Gunderson. Steve’s closest friend, in turn, was Kathy Najimy. Inevitably Kathy became my friend too; and even though today I don’t see her as often as I’d like, I still think of her (and her family) often and with great love. She doesn’t need any help from me to publicize her tremendous talents - not to mention her commitment to AIDS and animal rights; but go visit her website and partake all the same. She’s always full of surprises.

 

 

The Necessary Angel Theatre Company

This is another of those theatre companies I knew in my early days in Toronto. They probably don’t remember me now, and I wasn’t in any of their shows. But heck, anybody who could survive a winter or two at the old Theatre Centre at Broadview & Danforth in Toronto is someone I’ll treat as a comrade for life.

 

 

Nightwood Theatre

I’m very fond of the ol’ Nightwood gang (Kim Renders, Cynthia Grant, Mary Vingoe, Maureen White) because they and Buddies in Bad Times used to produced semiannual new-play festivals in Toronto called Rhubarb! Rhubarb!, which in my day were tremendous fun. Recently I’ve been in email contact with Kim again and she’s still up to her old tricks, now teaching at the University of Guelph. Thinking of that, I have to smile. How prosperous we’ve become in our middle years! As opposed to how nutty we were when we all started!

 

 

The Odyssey Theatre

The beloved child of Ron Sossi and Beth Hogan, the Odyssey has been a fixture in Los Angeles since the late sixties and today has grown from a storefront to a lovely three-theatre complex on the city’s west side. Between 2001 and 2003 I was in seven shows there: “’Tis Pity She’s A Whore,” “The Sea Gull,” “Three Sisters,” “Richard III,” “The Cherry Orchard” and two evenings of short scenes. Tip for newcomers: the green room has a great snooze couch.

 

Ruben Pla

Ruben’s a terrific, distinctive actor who I was delighted to work with many years ago in “The Red Herring” - a film set on a World War II submarine. Just recently we’ve caught up with each other again and I’m happy to see that, in the interim, he’s been doing some great stuff (including another WWII flick, “The Gothic Line”). Go see his web site, look at his pictures, and view his trailer (if you have the bandwidth). He’s worth it.

 

Joel Polis

I first got to know Joel during Richard III, where he did a fine double turn as the doomed Earl of Clarence and the creepy child-murderer Tyrrell. More lately, he’s had me laughing until the tears came in The Cherry Orchard. A fine actor and a lovely man; here’s his own (very well-done) web site.

 

The Red Hot Blues

I’ve been friends with (and a fan of) these guys going on five years now. Dave Shafran has one of the more unique voices on the planet; and Junior Klegseth is approximately the best guitar player I’ve ever heard. Period. (No, I’m not kidding.) Get on their mailing list; to see them live is to visit one of the outer neighborhoods of blues-rock heaven.

 

Sofia Sunseri

I knew Sofia as an actress about four or five years ago, but now she’s making simply wonderful music. You can keep up with her (and husband Rick Watling) by visiting this site. And while you’re there, get on her email list. Buy her CD. She’s great.

 

Ron Wiseman

At the risk of wearing out the phrase, Ronnie really is a true original - as you will soon see when you visit his website and check out his Jewish reggae music. I remember Ron from my acting days in Toronto, particularly late nights at VideoCabaret and, later, at Theatre Passe Muraille where he did the music for Nephesh Theatre’s Kaddish. A gifted man, and a lovely guy.

 

Stephanie Zimbalist

Stephanie is truly a class act - both a marvelous actress and a very dear woman. She was simply wonderful as Varya in “The Cherry Orchard” - shy, dutiful, eager to please, and therefore heartbreaking; I can’t wait until we work together again. Here is her info page at Wikipedia.

 

 

And here’s a few with a more personal-history kind of bent:

The official site for the City of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, which is where I grew up.

And here’s another Cambridge site. Both are very nicely done.

Here are two maps of where Cambridge is: a wider view, and a closer view. Both images are courtesy of Rand McNally.com (which looks ten times better than Mapquest, don’t you think?). The red ’X’ marks the spot in both.

Here’s a view of Cambridge using GoogleEarth. Wow!

Here’s The Cambridge Times, my hometown newspaper.

Okay, enough about Cambridge. If you look at the same map, let your eye travel to the left and up until you hit Lake Huron. There you’ll find Sauble Beach, where for years our family ran the Sauble Beach Pavilion, and where we still have a summer cottage.

Glenview Park Secondary School, my old high school.

The University of Waterloo, my old university.