Wilma and I have been doing theatre for 30 years in Brainerd area now, having worked with many people. Dennis Lamberson served many years at Central Lakes College, directing us in several shows. He died late last night.
Wilma’s big one would be HELLO DOLLY – in which Wilma was Dolly, a role that she played so very well. Dennis directed the show with his usual flair and style. As a family, all four of us appeared in OKLAHOMA. Yet today, our son BamBam, who was 5 at the time, had a line in the show, given to him by Dennis — (WHO’S GONNA BE THE AUCTIONEER) – and that still stands as the record as the line spoken by the youngest member of any cast member of a CLC show … Dennis cast me as FDR in ANNIE – which led to some other acting opportunities for me.
For me, a very important show was QUILT: A Musical Celebration. It was a musical about the whole AIDS QUILT event – how it came to be, how it rose to national importance. It was my first real role in a musical where I had a big solo – I played a photographer whose brother died from AIDS. The whole show was wonderful. Personally, this show, and the way Dennis directed it, taught me that gay folks are just folks, just like everyone else. The show was compassionate, showing victims of AIDS as being anyone at all – any circumstance, any situation. I am a better person for having been a part of a production of this show.
Dennis died after a long illness. He touched many lives through his work in the theatre.