Now that the vast Fouchi Entertainment Empire has firmly established Stageclick.com in 2007, the time has come to build upon the foundation of the past. Having made sporadic appearances during the past year, The Cahill Archives vows to become a weekly feature in the new year...with both old tales of New Orleans’ stage history and fresh, new reports on our present. To begin with, this week, is a compilation of the “On The Road” features prepared for the old New Orleans Stage Journal during 1991 and 1992 by this writer (Michael Cahill). Though scribbled over a decade and a half ago, many of today’s stars - as well as well-remembered stars of days gone by - are reported upon. These bits and pieces are hardly earthshaking and, as news, it is now the stalest of the stale...but it does offer a fleeting snapshot view of the local theater scene of the time.
(Later, we may take a peek at another Cahill NOSJ column called “Chatter,” which contained very much the same sort of news items. “On The Road” was intended to be a look at New Orleanians out-of-town but the distinction was frequently blurred.)
The first date above each batch is the date it was submitted and the second date is the issue in which it appeared. (The actual appearance in the issues may have varied somewhat.) Editorial comment - in brackets [-] - for the sake of clarity will be brief.
ON THE ROAD
The New Orleans Stage Journal
MICHAEL P. CAHILL
[November 1, 1991]
MICHAEL SIMPSON is living in Chappaqua, New York, and studying at The New Actors Workshop, the Mike Nichols school.
STEPHEN J. McQUEEN is living in Bayonne, New Jersey, and recently appeared in The Dining Room. (He is taking classes at the Uta Hagen school.)
ABBE GARFINKEL is now road manager for Harry Connick, Jr.
JAMES GAY, who left WWL-TV in May and worked as an assistant art director on the Sonia Braga TV movie The Last Prostitute in Texas this summer, is now staying with KIEL JUNIUS in Nutley, New Jersey. He has been doing freelance production work in news promotion for WABC-TV. He will be doing similar work for The Joan Rivers Show.
BOB SCULLY recently toured Ireland, Wales, and England.
MARI SERPAS, who was part of the Boz Scaggs tour of Japan, reportedly did an L.A. Law while working her way back home.
DON YESSO has landed a supporting role in the Dustin Hoffman film Hero.
GEORGE DANSKER's collection of Mary Martin memorabilia has become so legendary that he will spend two weeks in November working on the Mary Martin collection in the Weatherford Public Library near Fort Worth, Texas. Larry Hagman and Heller DeMeritt have been raising funds to establish a facility to house their mother's collection.
BONNIE TOUPS and ERIN ALLAIN have been appearing at a New Orleans-style Cabaret in Las Vegas.
ELIZABETH KEMP recently finished retakes on the Henry Jaglom film Venice/Venice in Los Angeles and is now working on a film in Caracas, Venezuela, which she describes as "sort of an Italian Home Alone."
[December 21, 1991]
CHRISTIAN J. LeBLANC of Jesuit High and Tulane, and former regular on As The World Turns and In The Heat Of The Night, has been turning up on CBS' The Young And The Restless.
JORINDA JUNIUS of the legendary Junius family is currently touring with the Bye Bye Birdie company featuring TOMMY TUNE. Jorinda returned home when the musical played the Saenger in December.
ROSARY O'NEILL's Southern Rep company of JOE WARFIELD, JANET SHEA, SILAS COOPER, DIANA BOYLSTON, ROBERT SELF, and the ever-popular JACKIE & MICHAEL DAWSON played the Moscow Circuit in November. They presented the TENNESSEE WILLIAMS one-act plays, 27 Wagons Of Cotton and The Lady Of Larkspur Lotion.
AUDLEY KECK is wintering in Palm Springs.
The hard-working JAY THOMAS of such television series as Murphy Brown and Cheers was, in his former life, JON T. TERRELL, Jesuit High School, Class of 1966.
ELIZABETH KEMP recently appeared on L.A. Law as the lover of AMANDA DONAHOE.
JANET SHEA spent the Holidays in Los Angeles with her sons SCOTT SHEA, an entertainment attorney, and SHANNON SHEA, a special effects artist who counts Dances With Wolves, Aliens, and Child's Play (the "Chuckie" movie) among his credits.
KATHLEEN EASON recently supplemented her theatrical income with a high-paying babysitting gig on the Northshore. [Kathleen now lives in Georgia - 2008.]
ED KEARNEY is returning to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
[January 9, 1992]
EARL SCIONEAUX has moved to Lafayette. He hopes to become involved in theater once he is settled there. [The Earl is back in town - 2008.]
SILAS COOPER's commercial for "Old Milwaukee" - the infamous Swedish Bikini Team spot - has caused quite a stir in advertising circles.
RHONDA SHEAR continues as host of Up All Night on the USA cable network.
WILLIAM RUSS also picked up a paycheck from USA for his co-starring role in the TV movie Drive Like Lightning. [Russ is a Jesuit grad from the 1960's.]
In what is becoming an annual event, four local recording artists received a total of five major Grammy nominations. They are IRMA THOMAS, AARON NEVILLE, HARRY CONNICK, Jr., and the Cajun group BEAUSOLEIL. It was IRMA's first nomination. Congratulations.
Local boys GEORGE KELLY and JOHN LARROQUETTE were cut out of their scene with KEVIN KOSTNER in the film JFK. LARROQUETTE calmly went back to work on his series Night Court and the TV movie One Special Victory. KELLY, who was cut out of his scene with MICKEY ROURKE and ELLEN BARKIN in Johnny Handsome and another with GABRIEL BYRNE in Miller's Crossing, took the omission in stride, but cineastes are calling it the greatest blow to the local film scene since STOCKER FONTELIEU's Orgy scene was chopped out of Angel Heart.
BOB SCULLY, New Orleans' foremost Shakespearian Actor/Rugby Star, has skipped town. A resident of this city for 14 years, the Chicago native has relocated to his hometown. The popular barkeep, surveyor, and reserve police officer, who got his start on the stage in Mr. Roberts and Arsenic And Old Lace at the Bayou in 1988, will be attending the Chicago Police Academy....
[February 5, 1992]
Tulane's IAN VOGT is spending his Junior Year Abroad studying Theater at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London near Windsor in Egham, Surrey.
GREG ONCALE - now GREGORY FRANCIS - is living in Ontario, California, and working as a musical director. He recently toiled on the Inland Valley Repertory Theatre's production of Bye Bye Birdie.
FRANCESCA ROBERTS, late of "Frank's Place," is a regular on ABC's "Baby Talk."
BRYAN BATT has been in the cast of Cats on Broadway.
TRISH NIEMECK joined the theater exodus to Chicago last month. The 1988 graduate of Loyola University, where she was a founding member of the Lower Depths Theatre, was a regular at the Actor's Warehouse Theatre, a founder of Artists Network, and has been Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator at the Contemporary Arts Center since September 1990. Bon Voyage, Trish!
WAYNE CAMP is also in Chicago.
Honored by Southern Rep in January, PATTI CLARKSON has three television productions slated for airing in 1992: Blind Man's Bluff for USA in February, Four Eyes for Hallmark Hall Of Fame, and An American Story with ELI WALLACH. Accepting her award, CLARKSON pointed out the importance of Equity theater here, explaining that if New Orleans is to remain a city of culture, it's actors must be professional.
KERRY FINE and DAWN ENGLADE of River Ridge danced with the American All Star Dance Team during the pre-game show at Super Bowl XXVI.
[March 2, 1992]
April 10, 1992
VERNEL BAGNERIS has been preparing for the role of BERT WILLIAMS in American Vaudeville at the Alley Theatre in Houston. He has recently written an animated film script of the bayou folk tale Talking Eggs for Disney and is working on a musical version of Amos ‘N’ Andy to be called Fresh Air Taxi.
ALLEN TOUSSAINT is working on the New Orleans musical revue High Rollers set to preview this month at the Helen Hayes Theatre in New York. Also set to open in New York this month is Jelly's Last Jam starring GREGORY HINES. It is based on the life of another great New Orleans composer JELLY ROLL MORTON.
JOE WARFIELD has returned from New York to appear in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and direct To Kill A Mockingbird for Southern Rep. [Long on the faculty at NYU-Tisch, Joe is now contemplating retirement - 2008.]
ED KEARNEY has returned to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery. The plays in which he will be appearing include King Lear and Shadowland.
MARK McLAUGHLIN has also been in Alabama. He is returning from playing the son in Driving Miss Daisy at the Jubilee Fish Theatre outside of Mobile to portray Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird for Southern Rep.
It's official. DON YESSO is the understudy of ALEC BALDWIN as Stanley in the new Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Also in the show are JESSICA LANGE and AMY MADIGAN.
BECKY ALLEN appeared with ALVIN PAYNE is a photograph that accompanied the article "The Grinch That Stole Mardi Gras" in the February 17 issue of TIME magazine. The photographer was MITCHEL OSBORNE.
BRENDA BERGMAN is always “On The Road” with RecycleABLE. [A private recycling firm - 2008.]
MARK HABERT, WARREN SAMPSON, and HAROLD GERVAIS are also among the New Orleans exiles now in Chicago.
PATRIK BALDAUFF hosted “A Celebration Of The Life Of STORER BOONE” in North Hollywood on February 29.
[April 12, 1992]
April 20, 1992
DOUGLAS LEAL recently returned from a fact finding mission to Chicago.
LESLIE CASTAY will not be appearing in The Most Happy Fella at Tulane Summer Lyric as planned. The reason: She got a gig as Jellylorum in the touring company of Cats, which played the Saenger this month. [Leslie returned to live in Louisiana recently - 2008.]
TIFFANY CARR has returned from New York and will be appearing in Strokes at the North Star Theatre.
RENEE MAXWELL has married and gone to Texas. [The Renee is back in town - 2008.]
JAMES GAY has returned from New York to start his own televison production company.
MICHAEL CAHILL went to Texas this month for the wedding of his nephew ROB CAHILL to LESLIE ANDERSON. Also attending was another of Rob's uncles, former thespian RIC FRANCES. During that first week in April, newspapers reported 22 theater productions in Dallas and 18 in Fort Worth.
Gypsy PEGGY IRONS has gone back from whence she came. [Alabama].
[April 26, 1992]
May 4, 1992
JOHN McCONNELL has returned to Louisiana to portray Willie Stark - the Huey Long character - in a new adaption of ROBERT PENN WARREN's All The King's Men at LSU Theatre in Baton Rouge. The director and co-author BARRY KYLE hopes his Swine Palace Productions becomes the state's next professional theatre.
LARY HESDORFER, KATHLEEN EASON, GEORGE KELLY, WALTER BOST, BOB KRIEGER, JEFFREY BARACH, CATHERINE GASCON, and LEON CASTROGIOVANNI were amongst those who journeyed to Baton Rouge to participate in the filming of a segment of Unsolved Mysteries devoted to the assassination of HUEY P. LONG. SPUD McCONNELL yet again portrayed the Kingfish. America's Most Wanted has also been filming in the area.
[What? Castrogiovanni? Yes, that was the ignominious debut of Leon Contavesprie in the ledgers of New Orleans show biz. Oh, and Lary Hesdorfer was a dead ringer for the assassin Dr. Carl Weiss - 2008.]
ALLEN TOUSSAINT has opened in New York at the Helen Hayes Theatre with his New Orleans musical revue The High Rollers Social And Pleasure Club. Among the celebrities in the opening night audience were former New Orleans actors VAL DUFOUR and CHRISTINA GAUDET.
UNCLE WAYNE DAIGREPONT is always on the road with Porta-Puppet Players, his puppet comedy show that comes to YOU. [The more things change, the more they stay the same - 2008.]
RICHARD DODDS of the Times-Picayune has been on assignment in New York City. [Richard has been reviewing in San Francisco for many years now - 2008.]
STOCKER FONTELIEU was imported to Jackson, Mississippi, for a voiceover task, and to Baton Rouge to film a commercial. [In this century, the idea of going hundreds of miles for a voiceover is quaint - 2008.]
THE BAYOU CABARET/DINNER THEATRE will be on the road from Mid-City to Metairie in mid-July. [Was it ever! - 2008.]
SILAS COOPER has returned to Los Angeles.
WALLY STEHLE, Tevye in Le Petit's Fiddler On The Roof, is spinning platters on the new WTIX-AM music format.
[May 10, 1992]
June 22, 1992
STEPHEN J. McQUEEN is now a Federal Bank inspector in New Jersey. He recently appeared in two acclaimed one-act plays.
ALLEN TOUSSAINT's The High Rollers Social And Pleasure Club closed on Broadway after 13 performances. VIVIAN REED, however, was nominated for the best actress in a musical Tony for her role in it. Also nominated for a Tony was the music of the late JELLY ROLL MORTON of New Orleans for best score in Jelly's Last Jam. That show was nominated for best musical, as was Five Guys Named Moe, a revue based on the music of LOUIS JORDAN, who wrote Saturday Night Fish Fry, set on Rampart Street, and What's The Use Of Gettin' Sober When You're Gonna Get Drunk Again, which has a more universal appeal. Also nominated was BRIAN FRIEL's Dancing At Lughnasa. Who will produce that here? [Dog & Pony, for starters - 2008.]
Nick At Nite has done quite a revival this year of DICK VAN DYKE and his classic 1960's television situation comedy. He is also remembered in these parts for his work on the staff of WDSU-TV in the 1950's.
Emmy Award winning New Orleanian JOHN LARROQUETTE ends his nine-year run on Night Court this month when the NBC-TV series airs its final episode.
BRANFORD MARSALIS takes over as the band leader on NBC's The Tonight Show with the accession of JAY LENO on May 25.
ED KEARNEY continues to show them how it's done at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. [Kearney eventually committed suicide - 2008.]
[June 20, 1992]
June 29, 1992
Gentilly's KEVIN RAMSEY is one of the stars of Broadway's Five Guys Named Moe.
MARCIE CAMPO will study at the School of American Ballet in New York this summer.
TIM BAKER has made his annual trek to New York.
JOHN WILLIAM JOHNSON, son of WWL-TV's avuncular PHIL JOHNSON, is an actor living in London. He is currently working on an ANTHONY HOPKINS flick in Berlin.
CHRIS BONEAU, brother of CLINT BONEAU and former student of GEORGE "I taught them everything they know" SANCHEZ, is currently a press agent in New York. He helped publicize the Broadway hit Guys And Dolls.
Dancer BRIAN APPLEWHITE has made the jump from Kenner to Opryland. He is a native of Bogalusa.
JOE WARFIELD, JANET SHEA, and CHARLES WILLIAMS spent the second weekend of June at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, where they saw ED KEARNEY in action on the boards in Richard II, King Lear, and Shadowlands. JUDY KRUMMEL will make the Alabama jaunt later this month.
DOUGLAS LEAL is now officially a resident of Chicago along with TRISH NIEMECK, BOB SCULLY, MARK HABERT, HAROLD GERVAIS, WAYNE CAMP, WARREN SAMPSON, and so forth. [Bob has returned to NOLA. Douglas is in California, where Niemeck was last spotted - 2008.]
MICHAEL SIMPSON took a brief break from his theatrical training in New York to return home.
The peripatetic JAMES GAY hopped back to New York for two weeks.
Former actor and Beverly waiter SCOTT SHEA recently returned from Los Angeles to visit the city of his birth, as did his brother, film special effects makeup artist SHANNON SHEA with his singer wife TRACY and poet daughter MOLLIE.
FRANCESCA ROBERTS has been cast in the Super Mario Brothers film to be shot in North Carolina.
[July 15, 1992]
July 27, 1992
TIFFANY CARR is spending the summer teaching at a summer camp in Colorado. She intends to head back to New York in the autumn. [Tiff left town in the wake of Katrina - 2008.]
AUDLEY KECK is paying a visit to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival with his old friends Mr. & Mrs. WILLIAM CONRAD. Bill Conrad is on hiatus from CBS' Jake And The Fat Man.
PAUL SANCHEZ recently released his first solo CD entitled Jet Black And Jealous. He is one of the many siblings of GEORGE SANCHEZ.
RASHAN SERINO, a student at Benjamin Franklin High School, was in Little Rock in June appearing in The Ernest Green Story, based upon the 1957 desegregation case. She is a protegée of ELIOTT KEENER at NOCCA.
Cabrini and UNO's KIM McGUIRE, better known to cult film fans as "Hatchet Face," has been a regular on ABC's On The Air this summer.
BRYAN BATT will be performing at the closing ceremonies of the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
SILAS COOPER has returned from Los Angeles.
[September 29, 1992]
October 19, 1992
JAY THOMAS is starring in the CBS-TV romantic comedy series Love And War with Susan Dey.
MICHAEL AUDLEY KECK has been starring in a film now being shot in Utah. [Produced by the Mormons, Audley portrayed Brigham Young - 2008.]
MICHAEL SIMPSON, now living on Manhattan's West 52nd Street, recently appeared in Rumors in Connecticut. He graduated from the New Actors Workshop in June. [Michael has long been back in NOLA and is on the staff of U.S. Attorney Jim Letten - 2008.]
MARION ZINSER and JANET SHEA journeyed to Natchez to appear in the Mighty Miss film of The Adventures Of Huck Finn. [Elijah Wood was Huck Finn - 2008.]
The Road brought JOHN "Spud" McCONNELL back to New Orleans to star in the Swine Palace production of All The King's Men at the CAC.
The cast of I Hate Hamlet at the Jubilee Fish Theatre near Mobile included erst-while New Orleanians ED KEARNEY, CHARLOTTE SCHULLY, and GINA PAURATORE LALLA. Ed was taking a break from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery while Charlotte was pausing on her move to New York City. Amongst those who traveled across the Gulf Coast to see the show were JAN CHIMENTO, ROSEMARY CORRY, PAULINE PRELUTSKY, PEG MURISON, JANET SHEA, and CHARLES WILLIAMS.