The Old Town Temecula Community Theater was just as former theater manager Bruce A. Beers always loved to see it.
It was packed, designated with overflow seating, and filled with friends, families and patrons paying tribute to theater and to the man who dedicated his life to its stewardship.
Beers, who died recently after complications from surgery, may have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of praise for the longtime patron of the arts.
But, one thing is certain, he would have loved the show.
Artists and actors, musicians and dancers each took to the stage to showcase all of Beers’ favorites — a jazzy rendition of “What a Difference a Day Makes” sung by Sherry Williams backed by the All Star Big Band, a mesmerizing performance of “Movement One, La Lumiere Lointaine de Nuit” by Kara Wuchner and Kate Presita-Schaub on flute and Susan Myamonto on piano, and performances by Patti Drew of the Temecula Valley Players, and the BARE Dance Company and more.
Speakers ranged from the emotional to the humorous, including Beers’ brother Bob, who joked, “When Bruce left, he took with him the entire electrical grid for 1.4 million homes in San Diego.”
World renowned jazz vocalist Sherry Williams said that in his time as the first theater manager to grow Temecula’s fledgling arts community, Beers “created a safe haven for artists.”
And Beers’ wife Susan McLaughlin, who shared personal memories about Beers’ love of theater, sailing and his family, noted proudly that Beers had saved the lives of others through organ donation.
As guests mingled, they were asked to write love notes to Beers that will be compiled in a scrapbook by family and donations were accepted for a sculpture that is planned in honor of Beers for the theater’s outdoor courtyard.