Endings, beginnings

All of us here at Theatre Dogs thank you, dear readers, for another terrific year of all things theatrical. May this shiny new year be filled with shows, each more spectacular and meaningful than the next.

Before we head into the new year, however, let’s pause for a moment to say farewell to some theater folk we lost this year.

Bay Area actor, playwright and director Dean Goodman, who once wanted to dump a plate of spaghetti over my head when he didn’t like my review of a play he was in. But Dean was an intrepid spirit who loved theater.

East Bay community theater staple Ralph Miller, a major player at the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley and, for some years, a wonderful Scrooge in the Center Repertory Company’s A Christmas Carol.

Arts writer Stephanie Von Buchau, who contributed some insightful, always entertaining opera, ballet and symphony reviews to this paper. Stephanie and I often discussed musical theater. She didn’t have any use for most of it, but she revered Evita and considered it opera.

From the national stage, we lost Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein (The Heidi Chronicles); Oscar and Tony-winner Maureen Stapleton (Gingerbread Lady, Reds); lyricist Betty Comden (Bells Are Ringing, On the Town); Tony Award-winner Barnard Hughes (Da); actor Jack Wild (the original Artful Dodger in Oliver!); director Lloyd Richards (the August Wilson canon); producer Cy Feuer (Guys and Dolls) and emerging playwright John Belluso (Magic Theatre’s The Rules of Charity).

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