Rain delay — talking, listening, sharing and learning

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Idyllwild Actors Theatre performers Suzanne Avalon and Kathleen Walker star in Joe Calarco’s “Walter Cronkite is Dead” at the Rainbow Inn on April 20 and 21.
Photo by JP Crumrine

Travel delays — whether a boulder blocking the stagecoach, a stalled car blocking lanes or weather grounding an aircraft — are a constant irritant to those traveling. When we use common carriers, such as aircraft, the delay can be frustrating, but at least airports offer locations for those awaiting the departure.

The Idyllwild Actors Theatre is offering a glimpse into one of those delays and strangers sharing transportation share discourse, too.

In Joe Calarco’s “Walter Cronkite is Dead,” Margaret and Patty are two women who share this situation. A heavy East Coast rainstorm has delayed all flights out of Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

They unexpectedly, and auspiciously, have to share a table in the airport bar and, eventually, conversation, wine and antithetic opinions.

Margaret, whom Kathleen Walker portrays, is a quiet, private Washingtonian. Patty, Suzanne Avalon’s character, is the ebullient, extroverted, chatty Southern. Blue State views encounter Red State opinions.

The play’s premier was the fall of 2010 in Washington, D.C. A year later, it was performed in San Diego, where the San Diego Theatre review said, “Joe Calarco’s thoughtful script goes way beyond standard comedy fare. … The script takes the audience on a roller coaster ride filled with both sudden laughter and unexpected punches to the gut.”

Walker graduated from the master’s program in Theatre Arts at Penn State. Subsequently, she studied with Sandy Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City for several years. During this time, she starred in several off-Broadway shows. Her career took her to many works in regional theater throughout the country.

Avalon studied acting and directing at UCLA. She has studied under Jack Garfein, Harold Clurman and Stella Adler. Her theater career includes acting, directing and producing. She has appeared in many theatrical productions off-Broadway in New York, as well as television and film. She is the founder and president of IAT, now in its 16th season in Idyllwild.

Ticket prices are $15 for general seating and $20 for VIP seating. VIP seats are in the first two rows and include complimentary wine and snacks. The event is at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21, at the Rainbow Inn.

Tickets may be purchased at the door, or online at idyllwildactorstheatre.com/ticketsclassfees.html. Space is limited.

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