Tom is starring as lead in the Neil Simon comedy God's Favorite at the Don Bluth Front Row Theatre, 8670 East Shea Blvd Suite 103 Scottsdale, AZ 85260. The play opened on March 3rd and runs through Friday, April 3, 2015.
God's Favorite originally played on Broadway 1974-75 and is not often performed. The play is rich with the same Simon humor that made hits like The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park, American classics.
The setting of the play is in a Long Island mansion. Tom plays a pious, God-fearing tycoon named Joe Benjamin. His household consists of his family: a long-suffering wife, Rose, a prodigal son, David, a pair of kooky twins, Ben and Sarah, and the maid and butler, Mady and Morris. Benjamin is visited late one night by a messenger of God named Sidney who claims that Joe is God's "favorite." Due to a bet that God made with the Devil, Joe will now be forced to face many obstacles as a way to get him to renounce God. God has faith in Joe that he won't give in, but the many afflictions that are thrown his way make it seem like he just might start to question his faith.
The play’s director, Gary Caswell portrays Sidney. Producer Don Bluth is the world renowned animator, director and producer of many well-known movies such as American Tale, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Anastasia, Rock-a-Doodle, Thumbelina and the list goes on. He started right out of high school working with Walt Disney in the late 1950s, collaborated with numerous entertainment icons including Steven Spielberg and is still going strong as an owner, director and producer of this intimate Scottsdale theatre. Audiences love meeting and chatting with Don at each show. He is a "one of a kind" that truly loves touching people's lives with his creative genius.
Tom was just cast in the upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz. If local folks and those traveling to Arizona can't make it to see the mid-week comedy, God's Favorite, they can catch The Wizard of Oz which will be running Thursday - Saturday starting May 7th through May 30th at the same theatre. Tom will be starring in dual roles: both as Uncle Henry and reprising the role as the mayor of Munchkinland. Ticket information and other details are available at: www.donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com. Tom would love to see some of the Osco/Sav-on "gang" at the theatre.
I started my management career with Osco on 2/4/80 in Texarkana, TX after graduating in December 1979 from SIU-Carbondale, IL. After a campus interview with Dave Schoenbeck, Jim Willyard and Wanda White were the two recruiters that gave me that opportunity. From there I moved to San Angelo, then Lake Jackson and finally Houston (Sav-on drugs) prior to the Texas stores being sold. Other stops along my career were Osco #463 and Osco #876 in Springfield, IL, Osco #887 Urbana and ultimately the store in Battle Creek, MI. The district managers I worked under were Doug Rives, Richard Rounds, Bill Bates, Terry Maloy and John Grabowski. Tork Fuglestad, Larry Wahlstrom and John Terry were my VP's.
After 13+ years I left store management and moved to Evansville, IN, and then back to Springfield, IL. After a couple of years with Venture Stores management, I joined Prism Partners Merchandising and lead the in-house team in the 1818 Oak Brook, IL office, working primarily with the Category Management, Space Management, Store Operations and Marketing Departments. We made the move to Salt Lake City, UT and ultimately to Scottsdale, AZ in 1999. I spent 7 years leading the in-house reset team efforts for Prism in all of the drug stores and then another two years with ProSet, a division of Crossmark. Through all those years I had the good fortune to meet and work with many, many wonderful Osco/Savon people from coast to coast.
In between Prism and ProSet I started up a new truck body distribution company with a partner. We sold the business after a year and I began working in business development with another merchandising company based in MN and spent much time traveling. I rejoined the truck body business 5 years ago and am still running that business today. I have stayed connected locally with many Alumni friends, playing in the annual Ken Walker golf outing over the past several years.