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Supervisor 'Interviews' for new role on the stage

By: Paul Cambra, Journal Staff Writer
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Reagan, Eastwood, Schwarzenegger — the landscape is littered with actors turned politician, so much so that forays by Sonny Bono and Al Franken barely turned our heads. But here in Placer County we are treated to a role reversal of sorts, as Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler takes to the stage in the play, “The Interviews,” written and directed by his district director Brian Scott Jagger. “I asked Kirk if he would be interested in auditioning and he said he might be,” said Jagger, who knew Uhler had done some acting in the past. “He went through the same process as everyone else, and at the end, the other people on the board could tell I was having a hard time with something. When they pressed me, I said, ‘Dammit, Kirk was the best one for the lead’ and they all agreed.” Uhler’s experience consisted of a handful of television commercials and the BBC documentary, “The Seven Wonders of the Industrial World.” “I played Charles Adams in episode six, ‘The Line,’ about the transcontinental railroad,” said Uhler, who, coincidentally, sits on the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency. In “The Interviews,” he plays Gary, a middle manager at a sales company who is assigned to hire a new salesperson hours before he leaves on a much-anticipated Hawaiian vacation. To do so he must interview several applicants, none of who seem to be viable candidates. “Almost all of these characters were based on real-life experiences,” said Jagger, whose original script was nominated for an Elly Award. “I actually interviewed a prospective employee when I worked at Blockbuster who told me straight out, ‘I’m gonna be a rock star.’” The Placer Community Theater first performed the play last year, and many in the cast are reprising their roles in the current production. Mix in a handful of Magic Circle veterans, and you get a good cross-sampling of Placer County stage talent, including yet another politician. “It’s been about 20 years since I did any acting, I can definitely feel the rust,” said Lincoln City Councilman Paul Joiner, who plays Gary’s boss. “It’s great to be in something locally produced. I’d better watch out though, I think I’m catching the acting bug again.” Jagger, who is vice-president of Placer Community Theater and sits on Auburn’s Arts Commission, said the play is virtually the same one that ran in Auburn. “I added one line, the one about Toyota’s quality control, which I thought was very topical,” Jagger said. As for Uhler’s acting chops? Think Matthew Perry of “Friends” fame, and everyone he interviews is either Phoebe or Joey or a combination thereof. His feigned exasperation could be straight out of a Board of Supe’s summit; his sense of frustration well honed from many a Municipal Advisory Council meeting. “The Interviews” is a clever look at a situation we’ve all been through, from one side or another. Hopefully, your time spent in the hot seat never produced the laughs these characters are sure to get. -------- “The Interviews” Written and directed by Brian Scott Jagger Starring: Kirk Uhler, Paul Joiner When: Friday, March 5 through Sunday, March 14 Showtimes: Fridays 8 p.m.; Saturdays 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. Where: Magic Circle’s Tower Theatre, 421 Vernon St., Roseville Cost: $12-$25 Info: (916) 782-1777, mcircle.org