And there was much more of that the next night, Sunday, at the gala for the 20th Pittsburgh New Works Festival. OTR had kept me too busy to see any of this year's 4-week festival, for which I'm properly regretful, but as last year's awardee of the festival's Lifetime Achievement Award, I was eager to be there to applaud this year's winner, George Jaber. As I told anyone who would listen, George was such a good choice he raised the average level of the whole group honored so far. By the way, the previous honorees present included, as far as I could tell, Tony Ferrieri (2008), Richard Rauh (2005), Jay Keenan (2004), Don DiFonso (1998) and Bingo O'Malley (1992). If someone will send me a photo, I'll add it here.
George Jaber runs the theater program at CCAC South Campus but does a great deal more. A choir of actors, with the estimable David Pressau at the keyboard, was there to seranade us with excerpts from a couple of hundred (or so, it seemed) of George's musical productions at the professional summer theater he ran at South Campus for a decade or so. He's also a leader among those who do technical work for the movies that film here, and he's personally saved a lot of valuable material used in those movie sets (and some therater sets, too) from being thrown away, as it usually is. (Some foundation should get George a large warehouse so he could store enough material to serve all the region's theaters for decades to come, hint, hint.)
George is a man of firm opinions, firmly, even pungently expressed. After having been introduced with a substantial concert (those musical excerpts), he responded with a sermon (albeit full of humor) on what we could all be doing to help theater and theater artists. As I say, he makes some of us other Lifetime Achievement winners look like old fogeys.
And, yeah, OTR X was a great success. We'll soon have a bottom line figure of what was raised for charity, but as I always say, that's just the excuse for the show's real value, which is to get us to lauigh at ourselves.