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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

CBS's "Close to Home" Has a Familiar Ring

The CBS Network will be broadcasting the third episode of the new series "Close to Home" tonight. The series was created by New Haven High School graduate Jim Leonard, Jr. It is set in Indianapolis and its suburbs. The reviews have been almost uniformly favorable.

I didn't see the premier episode but got a chance to catch the second one last week. My opinion agrees with the favorable reviews. What really struck me, though, is that one of the characters has the same name (with one letter change) of Jim's high school debating partner.

Both are bright, driven and creative people. Jim couldn't have picked a better name to emulate for one of the key characters in the show.

A related note: While at Hanover College, Jim wrote "The Diviners." That play won the 1980 National Student Playwriting Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

The play is still frequently staged and it is still winning awards. The latest nomination for an award in Atlanta was recently noted by Playbill.

I was lucky enough to perform in the Indiana premiere of "The Diviners" in 1979-80 season at First Pres Theatre. Jim was present at many of the rehearsals under the direction of John Tolley. Those were very exciting days for live theatre in this city. The theatre's have dwindling audiences as more people shelter themselves in "home theater" styles of entertainment. Sad. But, good for Jim.
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