Why The Lover?
When the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater gave us dates to choose from for a production, the first available were during the first week of January. There are very few theater companies that plan to put up a show that week. The logistics of it are simply a nightmare. Most people are away (and can’t rehearse) during Christmas and New Year’s. People, in general are distracted by the holidays and don’t always pay a lot of attention to what’s coming up after the first of the year. Our first thought was, quite simply, no. We did not, however, wish to pass up the opportunity. We thought our best bet was to find a small cast, one-act play with minimal set requirements.
As it happened, June Alane Reif had already been in discussions with Richard Pallaziol about performing together. The timing turned out to be perfect as he finished up other theatrical ventures in October – just in time to begin a new project. Neither actor having performed a Pinter piece before, The Lover seemed perfect as well. She brought the idea to the other members of Valley Players and it was decided to book the January dates with NVPAC.
Debbie Baumann eagerly agreed to direct and quickly called on April Vincak, Lu Kenmonth and Patte Quinn to round out her crew. When Walter Hamlin agreed to play the role of John, the milkman, we were set!