Vagabond Players move "Two by Two"
into Backlot Theater
Thousand Oaks Acorn
By Heather Milo
Acorn Staff Writer
From left,
standing,is Jim
Harlow (Japheth)
and Roscoe Gaines
(Ham), and sitting
is Steve Perren
(Shem), and on the
floor is Don
Pearlman, (Noah)
rehearsing a scene
from the show.
Possibly in the hopes of bringing rain to Southern California, The
Vagabond Players will present, "Two by Two," a musical that depicts
the story of Noah and the Ark for the final show of their 2002 season.

"Two by Two," also selected in celebration of Richard Rodgers
centennial, will be performed at The Backlot Theater in Thousand
Oaks Nov. 1 - Nov. 24. The production is being directed by Paul
Marquie, with musical direction by Nancy Monson. The show is being
produced by Jackie Solway.

Noah, (Don Pearlman), Esther, (Eleanor Brand), and their three sons,
Shem, (Steve Perren), Ham, (Roscoe Gaines), and Japheth, (Jim
Harlow), must board the ark "Two by Two." In order to do so, Noah
and his sons must embark with their wives, only Japheth is not
married, and the family must find him a wife. The show is designed to
deliver a lighthearted but shivering real message about humanity.
Pearlman has been acting and directing an ambitious number of Ventura County productions. Brand
was a regular on NBC radio and WATV television. Harlow has been involved in Ventura County
Theatre since 1985. Perren performs regularly with The Cabrillo Music Theatre and in Ventura.
James was last seen on The Vagabond Players stage in Plaza Suite and on the Conejo Players Stage
in The Nerd. Gaines was last seen in The Vagabond Players "Murder at the Howard Johnson's",
and previously as Raymond in The Conejo Players production of "Down Along the Brazos". Melora
Hutton (Rachel) performs throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Melanie McGuire
(Goldie) was in The Vagabond Players "Murder at the Howard Johnson's".

"Two by Two" is co-produced by the Players and The Backlot Theater at 1408 East Thousand Oaks
Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA, across from Roxy's Famous Deli, in the Gold Coast Plaza. "Two by
Two" will run at 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2pm Sundays. Ticket prices are $14 (Adults)
and $12 Seniors/Students). Group sales are available. To reserve tickets or request more information,
call The Vagabond Players at (805) 987-6039.

Marquie said that putting people to the biblical story truly brings it to life. He produced "Two by
Two" seven years ago with a local dinner theater, and has found that it is the kind of classic story
that people like to see time-and-again. The storys traditional appeal makes it a show for families:
pretty much anyone who knows the story of Noah and the Ark can appreciate it, he said, and
suggested that children at least 10 and up should find the show enjoyable.

The shows set requirements threw a challenge the Players way: the actors plan to literally build an
ark onstage in front of the audience. This made it necessary to choreograph both the movement to
accompany songs, and the stage traffic required to construct an ark. Set designer Tom Murray had
his hands full. "You have to build it so the actors and actresses can put it together," said Marquie.

The music is both humorous and clever.

"Imagine this: Your father is 600 years old. He hears God telling him to build an ark. What would
you say? You'd say he should be put away, is a part of show song called "Put Him Away," where the
children in Noah's family try to have him committed. It is these kinds of silly and human details that
make the show wholesome entertainment, said Marquie, who added that the music was quite smart.

The story is modified from the original for the sake of humor and unexpected plot twists. God
Himself steps in to make some adjustments. As Noah cannot work quite so fast at age 600, God
brings him back to the youthful age of 90, prompting the song "90 Again." The show deals with
having belief in God, turning from Him, and then coming back to Him, said Marquie, although he
said, "the performance is not religious. You don't need to be a particular faith to see the show."

Two by Two has an interesting history. Though it has not been performed in Ventura County for the
past seven years, the original show played on Broadway starring Danny Kaye. About three or four
shows into its run, Kaye reportedly fell and broke his leg, and did the rest of the shows in a cast.

The Vagabond Players show similar commitment in their own theatrical contribution. Marquie has
known a number of the actors for years, and is pleased to be working with them once more. "It's kind
of like coming home to family," he said.