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Hutchins Street Square leader providing a great performance

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Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2011 12:00 am

All week we looked forward to the Friday night show at Hutchins Street Square — The Best of the San Francisco Comedy Competition. And as we thought about it, we were struck by what a difference Jim Rodems has made since coming to Lodi in the summer of 2008. He took on a big job, agreeing to be both parks and recreation director and community center director.

Combining two top-level jobs into one is an important economy for the city. And finding a person with education and experience in both areas was a rare find.

But this week we focused just on what an imaginative mix of entertainment has been featured at the Charlene Powers Lange Theater since Rodem's arrival. We're struck by how widely the acts appeal to people of different ages and cultures.

In the past couple of years, the curtain has lifted on the "West Side Story" Broadway musical, the New Shanghai Circus and a tribute to The Eagles rock band. Crowds have applauded a Mexican folk ensemble and female mariachi singers as well as numerous ballet and classical musical performances.

Looking ahead, it's hard to imagine anyone who would think it would be more fun to watch another night of TV rather than to take a break for one of these acts:

  • Eclectic keyboardist Jason Coleman will play country, pop and easy listening standards Jan. 19.
  • Forever Plaid — a musical featuring 1950s hit music Jan. 31.
  • Central Valley Youth Symphony Feb. 5.
  • "Night of the Living Dead" — a theater play version of the classic horror film. Those who want to add dinner can enjoy pasta catered by De Vinci's. Feb. 11 and 12.
  • In the Mood — the 1940s Big Band Musical Revue Feb. 13.
  • Trio Con Brio of Copenhagen kicks off the Community Concert Series on Valentine's night Feb. 14.

For the rest of the scheduled line-up, go to www.hutchinsstreet and click on the CPL Theater Calendar.

Jim and his staff are sure to have something just for you.

— Lodi News-Sentinel

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