Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter
The Ramona Pageant is preparing for its 100th-year anniversary in the spring and the place is buzzing with preparations. Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel, “Ramona,’ is one of the most celebrated times in American history. It delineates how the local tribes were mistreated by the priests and carpetbaggers from the East. The play explicitly depicts Ramona and Alessandro’s forbidden love affair.
Thousands of guests from all over the world have made their way from around the world to witness this classic play year after year after year. This year may or may not find a filled arena, not because of visitors, but the community has taken a somewhat lackadaisical attitude this year.
Example: Dattilo Ristorante is hosting a fundraiser to assist in funding this year’s production on Saturday, November 12th. Dinner and an original murder mystery play will be featured. The play, “Murder, Menu!” is an original creation by Hailey Jones, starring Hailey Jones and Friends. I cannot give away the plot because I’m limited to what I’ve been made aware of. I can tell you that the audience will decide who did what and why and how the verdict should be. If that doesn’t whet your appetite, the cuisine will. It is one for the palate and one for the senses.
From the announcement date until now, something has happened that isn’t good. It was initially announced that there would be two shows, one at 3 PM for those who prefer afternoons or simply don’t like to drive after dark and another for folks who like nightlife at 6 PM. I was just advised that the afternoon show has been canceled for lack of interest. Hemet – how could you be so cruel to your primary reason for Hemet to be recognized anywhere much less around the country and the world. Shame on you San Jacinto Valley.
Even Hollywood is coming out to this dinner and show. The ever-popular actress Gail O’ Grady (she prefers “actor,”) is taking time away from her starring role in television’s “Criminal Minds” to come and support our beautiful outdoor play. If Hemet is failing, Hollywood isn’t.
All too often, as I’ve said many times in my columns, we don’t appreciate what we have until we no longer have it. Without the Ramona Play, Hemet won’t be known for much.
For those attending the fundraiser, see below:
Where: Dattilo Ristorante
2288 East Florida Avenue, HEMET CA 92544
FOR INFO AND TICKETS VISIT:
www.ramonabowl.com OR CALL (951) 658-3111
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