Reviews of shows from the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and other local venues published by the Los Cerritos Community News. The writer and paper are in their twentieth year of covering these events.

My Photo
Location: Fear City, Ca., United States

"My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre - as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to a cotton field." George Sanders in "All About Eve"

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


  Posted by Picasa

Bette: An Appreciation

By Glen Creason

I learned of the recent death of my friend and colleague Bette Gillies the hardest way possible; in the newspaper without warning. While it has been weeks since that sad shock I can’t let go until I say goodbye to this fine lady. In the interim between seasons at the Performing Arts Center I have been absent from the place for a while and never even knew of the sickness that finally brought her to the end. Like the rest of us left behind, who knew this lovely woman I am sad and sick at heart. It shook me to realize I would someday soon have to call the offices and not hear her dulcet voice that was to so many THE voice of the Los Cerritos Community News. It was a kind and warm voice, comforting and full of optimism even in the face of the travails inherent in the world of small newspapers. She was more than a beacon; she was a lighthouse of direction in the occasionally bewildering world of deadlines and the thousands of words I sent her way, trying to describe the fun I had at the great hall. She always complimented me in the finest way possible, swearing she felt like she was there herself. And yet, she was there, at the heart of everything connected to the paper and reaching out into even our personal lives, making them better too. Even though I have worked with great friends at the paper, I always felt Bette was the real heart of the place. She had the rare combination of strength and gentility that can hold together through any challenges.
Truthfully, I only saw Bette in the flesh several times a year in this electronic world where transmissions pass along trails in cyber space but when I did it was always like finding a long lost and dear friend. At staff Christmas celebrations I always positioned myself as close as I could, so as to hear the laughter that flowed when she was away from the responsibility of her desk. I just felt comfortable being reflected in her light and a lovely one it was indeed. I wish I could have been there in the last days to say how much I valued her, I wish I could have held her hand and let her know how much I enjoyed sharing stories with her. As it is I can only put a few words down on paper and borrow a few from a great poet that make me think of her sweet voice at the other end of the phone line:

“He would declare and could himself believe
That birds there in all the garden round
From having heard the daylong voice of Eve
Had added to their own, an oversound
Her tone of meaning but without the words
Admittedly an eloquence so soft
Could only have had an influence on birds
When call or laughter carried it aloft
Be that as may be, she was in their song
Moreover her voice upon their voices crossed
Had now persisted in the woods so long
That probably it never would be lost
Never again would birds’ song be the same
And to do that to birds was why she came.

-from “Never Again Would Birds’ Song Be the Same
By Robert Frost