I'll be honest with you: All the locally bred folks who are making it big in the entertainment industry are beginning to wear me out.
Not to be too whiny about it, but the increasingly challenging side of my otherwise fun job that calls for the tracking of our region's acting and musical success stories is starting to feel like actual work.
Their stories are getting darn successful — and their numbers are getting darn large.
Consider what's gone on recently — some of which we've already reported on and some of which is just breaking — and the number of flourishing performers our area has produced:
Busy actor Jeremy Renner, a Beyer High graduate, has received numer- ous critical accolades for his film role in the almost sure- thing Oscar nominee "The Hurt Locker."
In fact, Renner could be in line for one of those Academy Award statues himself, especially after he already was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for the role.
Renner isn't resting on those laurels, either. He's currently working on the crime drama "The Town," directed by Ben Affleck and co-starring Jon Hamm and Blake Lively.
Also busy actor and Beyer High graduate Timothy Olyphant also is on the big screen in the high-profile thriller "A Perfect Getaway" and already is getting raves for his upcoming star turn in the new FX drama "Lawman," based on the Elmore Leonard tale "Fire in the Hole."
Said Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker: "I think I just may have seen one of the best shows of 2010: 'Lawman,' a new FX series starring Timothy Olyphant.
"I know that may seem a foolish claim to make based on a four-minute clip shown ... at the Television Critics Association gathering in Los Angeles, but, man, this looked good. ... I'm telling you, from Olyphant's easy drawl to the laconic, very Elmore Leonardesque dialogue, this looked like a humdinger."
"Lawman" debuts in March.
Davis High grad and actor James Marsters returns to TV screens in January for a "sizable arc" in the "Battlestar Galactica" prequel "Caprica" on the SyFy channel, according to entertainment blogger Michael Ausiello.
Marsters, who gained considerable fame as Spike in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," will play "a dangerous terrorist leader by the name of Barnabus Greeley in a minimum of three episodes," reports Ausiello. "Driven by desires both moralistic and carnal, Barnabus is as lethal as he is unpredictable.
"And no ones does lethal and unpredictable better than Marsters," Ausiello notes.
Oakdale-bred Colleen Hawks had to cancel her plans to star in the Modesto Performing Arts production of "Crazy for You" when she got the call to play the fairy godmother — on Broadway, no less — in "Shrek The Musical."
Another Oakdale-bred artist, singer/songwriter Brett Dennen, will rerelease his song "Heaven" as a duet with hitmaker Natalie Merchant. Dennen also plans a fall tour and will appear this weekend at the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Outside Lands is a huge three-day outdoor concert headlined this year by Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Incubus, Tenacious D, Black Eyed Peas and M.I.A. Dennen is part of the festival's Sunday lineup.
Ex-Grandaddy frontman and Modesto native Jason Lytle will continue to tour in support of his first solo CD, "Yours Truly, The Commuter." He'll return to Northern California on
Oct. 23 at The Independent in San Francisco.
And, add to that long list another Modesto-born actor currently appearing on Broadway — Jeremy Stolle in "The Phantom of the Opera."
Whew. Following all these established and/or burgeoning careers is turning into a full-time job.
Makes me wonder if this region has turned out an inordinate number of successful performers compared to similar size areas. The careers of Renner, Olyphant and Marsters alone are impressive enough, but toss in the Broadway and music performers and it seems like an unusual bounty of local talent. We grow them good in the Central Valley.
Speaking of locals, take a look at the story about transplanted Modestan Carol Channing today on
Page E-12. Channing and husband Harry Kullijian continue to produce a revue that benefits arts education in schools. "Carol Channing & Friends: A Benefit for the Arts" plays Monday at Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento.
Which prompts the question: Will the show also come to the Gallo Center, right here in Channing's own back yard?
Reach Scene editor Pat Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.