Miya Iwataki (right) with her father, 442nd RCT veteran Kuwashi Edward Iwataki, and Rep. Judy Chu at the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in Washington, D.C. in 2011. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
HERMOSA BEACH — A surfer and a jet pilot; a woman into extreme cycling; a contestant on “The Dating Game.” these and five others will tell their personal stories at the second edition of the South Bay Stories Show (SBSS) at the 2nd Story Theater in Hermosa Beach.
The show promises variety, excitement, and laughs. And, in keeping with SBSS tradition, there’ll be musical storytelling. Clarinetist Dawn Hamilton will perform from the repertoire of Benny Goodman.
Producer Jim Mueller was surprised but happy when last October’s SBSS sold out.
“The audience embraced the stories so strongly that we had to go for it again, “ he says. “I’m like the guy on the beach with the metal detector. He finds a treasure one day, and the next day, he’s back.”
“Each story is like a little play and the listener’s mind is the stage and the imagination paints the scenery,” says director Tony Torrisi, familiar to a lot of theater fans in the South Bay.
He noticed the powerful connection between the storytellers and the audience.
“After the show, a lot of people told me the stories were so good, they didn’t know where the time went,” he said. “ Storytelling has been around so long it’s part of our DNA by now.”
The show coming up May 21-22 features nine personal stories:
“Toni and Irving” — John Briganti (Redondo Beach) tells a story of delusion, dementia and denouement concerning his mother and a dear friend.
“Landing a Jet Plane in Tyler Texas” — Dan Burley (Torrance) is flying second seat to Captain Q in a Cessna Citation cockpit when the captain gets a very bad idea.
“Pivot Foot” — Bob Jones (Hermosa Beach) journeys from Pittsburgh youthful debauchery to Hermosa Beach respectability using his pivot foot.
“I Was Bachelorette No. 2 on ‘The Dating Game’” — Christine Blackburn (Hollywood) lands a spot on a famous TV game show, and wins, but wins what?
“Tosko Day” — Alex Stein (Hollywood) creates a holiday celebrating the soul’s darkness for a girl he desires.
“Off to Alaska” — John Marston (Manhattan Beach ) promises his family a relaxing vacation.
“Blood, Sweat and Tears” — Chris Gregory (Manhattan Beach) is “New Girl” in an extreme sport, gets bloodied, suffers and loves it. Go figure.
“A Surfer’s Life” — Marie Hoffman (Hermosa Beach) tells about her surfing life in the South Bay’s big attraction, the Pacific Ocean.
“Go For Broke” — Miya Iwataki (Pasadena), a Rafu columnist, gains a revealing insight into her father’s World War II U.S. Army service during a trip to Washington, D.C.
Showtimes are Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 1:30 p.m. 2nd Story Theater is located at 710 Pier Ave. in the Hermosa Beach Community Center.