For the past few years one couple in Livermore has been inviting Lamplighter cast members to stay over during the weekend because of the long drive, and they even host the closing party, since Livermore is our last stop in the Summer. Some candids of grateful performers from a pre-show breakfast at the home of Gus Manning and Rena Kirkpatrick, along with a description from Gus of what it is like to be surrounded by Lamplighters!
August 26, after striking the set of Lamplighters’ final 2018 performance of The Pirates of Penzance, the Company (cast members, direction and production staff, friends, and hangers-on) headed to the Kirkpatrick-Manning residence (also known as Manning Motel) in Livermore to celebrate the success of Pirates and life in general. A few Company members who had stayed at the residence throughout a weekend of performances helped to prepare for the event.
A clear majority of the Company was in attendance at the event with guests numbering near to 75. Many Lamplighters brought gifts of food and beverages, plain and exotic, to sustain celebrants including the exhausted performers. The ample cuisine was supplemented by lively, at time raucous, conversations touching on a weekend of splendid performance, great and small issues, including the history, philosophy, and significance of Lamplighterism, speeches covering anything and everything, and just plain whoppers.
Many public and private appreciations were expressed by Company members to their compatriots including farewells emotionally expressed to members departing to seek their fortunes elsewhere. A number of participants took the opportunity to don appropriate or inappropriate costumes to bathe in the hot tub, or to be splashed upon therefrom. As is customary at Lamplighter celebrations, a variety of spontaneous and artful demonstrations were observed and appreciated. Details of such demonstrations are best kept in our hearts and not documented, as “what happens in Livermore stays in Livermore”.