It was a busy weekend in Ojai, full of cultural celebrations and celebrity hoop-la. The first annual Wordfest writing conference brought an impressive group of writers and journalists to town for seminars, workshops, and special events. Then there was the not-so-secret wedding of Reese Witherspoon in her hilltop villa above Ojai. It was a gaggle of G.Q. boys and sassy girls that paraded throughout downtown giving locals plenty to gossip about. But this photographer’s “best-of” vote goes to the premier performance of the Ojai Improv Company, whose emerging thespians entertained a standing room only, sold out crowd under the spectacular geodesic dome behind Soul Centered – Ojai’s metaphysical bookstore.
The two-hour performance was rich with comedy, song and dance, and the audience left satiated from delight. The nine member cast under the direction of John Medeiros, is a talented, eclectic group with widely diverse backgrounds: Diane Silvester, owner/operator of Soul Centered, Bob Ryman, professional violinist and cruise-ship entertainer, Mark Solomon, sit-com writer i.e. Bob Newhart, Sarah Hawley, healer and shaman, Ronelle Wood, holistic healer and physical therapist, Clyde Blair, talented actor, and Dave and Carol Cintron, talented actor couple. Director John Medeiros has a rich resume of theatrical credits, with a BFA from UCSB.
This was the first of many performances by the Ojai Improv Company, and judging from the success of the first gig, their future looks hysterically bright.