I do remember the first bar show. I had no idea what they were up to or why. I was a newly hired Deputy. I was in the chorus of marching scouts George Eskin mentioned. It was at the Elk’s Lodge Hall in Oxnard. As the years passed the shows became funnier and more intricate. The era lasted a decade or so. We had performances at the Holiday Inn, the Elk’s Lodge, Mandalay Bay and (I believe) The Lobster Trap. I recall one was so successful that the audience exceeded the numbers of dinners that had been ordered.  Ever resourceful, someone, I know not whom, went out for McDonald’s Burgers which, as I recall, may have been a step up. Also dear to my heart was the number performed in drag by the male ensemble that, by design, was a lampoon of the feminist movement. As it progressed one could sense the audience discomfort until Nancy Sieh boldly stood up and rebuked us.  She stormed to the stage with her escalating rebuke equaled only by the audience’s equally rising cheers and despite Frank’s seemingly sincere and futile efforts to calm her. On stage she gracefully moved from scold to member of the cast, finishing the scene with a rousing chorus of “I Am Woman.”  She was joined by her co-conspirators on the stage as the audience’s wrath turned to laugh. Theater, after all, is the great educator. The number of lawyers in the county was relatively small and the “inside” jokes were understood by all. We knew and liked one another… or, perhaps, time has made it so. George was the driving force.

Steven Z. Perren I s an associate justice of Division Six of the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

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