We will begin our season this fall with “Omnium Gatherum”, a finalist in the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for drama, by Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersteon-Vassilaros. We have been fortunate to keep the original, talented cast for this production since “Omnium Gatherum”, scheduled to open this May, had to be postponed. The play setting is a dinner party in which a perfect hostess has invited an assortment of opinionated personalities to share an exquisite feast of food and wine. The hilarious, although at times contentious, debate among the guests explores issues that parallel the global pandemic.
Suzie: Antonia Allegra
Roger: Bruce Miroglio
Lydia: Shannon McDermott
Julia: Carlet Landford
Khalid: Jim Haslip
Terence: David Foushee
Jeff: Rob Barlow
Mohammed: Russ Kladko
Bruce Miroglio returns after several roles in prior UpStage Napa Valley productions. Bruce has performed over many years in a number of stage companies and has also several film credits to his resume and has done voice- over work.He is a second generation St. Helena native, has been married to his wife, Mary for 37 years, has 5 children and 12 grandchildren. In addition to being a practicing trial attorney, Bruce is also an ordained minister serving at St. Helena Catholic Church as Deacon. Working in theatre is close to his heart , as he enjoys the immediacy of the audience response and the collaborate process with the talented UpStage Company.
Carlet is excited to be back with Upstage Napa Valley for this production. Recent roles include Upstage Napa Valley's productions of Doubt as Mrs. Muller and Victoria in Creating Claire, multiple roles in the comedy Anton in Show Business, and musical theater/opera roles including Alice in Big River, Mother Superior in Sister Act, Fricka in Das Rheingold, and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly.
David Foushee resides in Yountville, by way of San Diego, San Francisco, the East Coast, the Deep South, the Great Plains, Europe and Southeast Asia (and, no, he did not grow up in a military family). Recent stage performances include roles in I Am My Own Wife, Hay Fever, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sweeney Todd, The Sound of Music, How Shakespeare Won the West, Once on this Island, Guys and Dolls, The Little Mermaid, Bell Book and Candle, Amadeus, and Mauitius (UpStage Napa Valley debut).
Jim is pleased to be cast as Khalid, an Arab Middle Eastern scholar. He has visited many Arab countries and given lectures on Middle Eastern history, culture, and religion. So the role is a natural fit. This is his Upstage debut. He is a long-time supporter of the arts through his career in education and in small communities. He was named “National Superintendent of the Year” by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He encourages everyone to join him in supporting the Upstage season.
Russ is very excited to be part of Omnium Gatherum, playing the part of Mohammed. He has never had a non-singing role, as his previous stage experience is exclusively opera (most recently portraying Goro in Madame Butterfly with Verismo Opera in Vallejo). So he is looking forward to using a different vehicle to portray a character, and experimenting with how best to communicate that character's thoughts and feelings.
Fanatical about theater, Shannon McDermott has been an active participate both on stage and off. She has enjoyed roles as varied as Lizzie Borden in Blood Relations, Laura in The Glass Menagerie, Alice in You Can’t Take It With You and most recently with Upstage Napa Valley as Mary Ellen in The Happy Ones . From directing to producing, stand-up to improv, musicals to dramas, Shannon has dabbled in it all. She is grateful Shari has kept her busy during Shelter In Place and is excited to be meeting and working with many talented actors through UNV. Be well!
Antonia (Toni) Allegra feels right at home playing Suzie, the renowned hostess of the dinner party that is “Omnium Gatherum.” Suzie’s background as a culinary artiste fits with Toni’s French cooking training in Paris, which she taught for years, before she was Food Editor for the San Diego Tribune. With Napa Valley as her base since 1988, she has launched three cooking schools, written books about the valley, brought conferences for food writers and wine writers into life, and created three local lifestyle magazines...With a university background in speech and drama (emphasis drama and musicals), she has also directed and acted for children’s theater. She sees her years vibrantly encouraging home cooks to delve into culinary arts as a form of theater, too. Setting the table can be like arranging a stage.
After a 2 year hiatus to recharge his batteries Rob could not stay away from the theater any longer and is proud to be back with Upstage Napa Valley for this production.Past favorite roles have been Terrence in "Handle With Care" and Father Flynn in "Doubt" both right here at Upstage Napa Valley.The Steward in "Into The Woods" at Lucky Penny Productions,Captain Treville in "The Three Musketeers" at Napa Valley Conservatory theater and the role of Frank in "Mere Mortals" for Valley Players.Rob has also been seen in the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why.Rob would like to dedicate this show to his late Father-In-Law Jeff Greenwell who served as a Napa Firefighter and gave his blessing to marry his lovely daughter.
Why choose Omnium Gatherum which translates, a miscellaneous collection; a hodgepodge? I wanted to present a work that delivered a juxtapostioned view of guests feasting on an elaborately prepared meal of wine and food amid the conversations of world hunger and racial inequality. I feel that the play does a great job of entertaining and creating an awareness of how much we are all interdependent of each other – something that we are experiencing right now. Hope is what this work offers, and a way that may lead us to a new normal where everyone counts.