Theater lovers, actors gather for Poole party

Published March 13, 2007

TARPON SPRINGS - Community theater directors looking for talent should have been at the Lime -n- Coconut restaurant one night last week.

They could have cast their upcoming musicals and plays for the next two seasons just from the singers, dancers and actors crowded into the two dining rooms and flowing out onto the deck at the funky li'l place.

About 80 people had gathered to visit with award-winning community theater director Dick Poole, who got married and moved from New Port Richey to California about 14 months ago. He was back in town with his bride, Gerry, for a short visit.

The gathering the evening of Feb. 28 happened on short notice - a quick e-mail to Poole pals from Jane Russell Geddings, who choreographed many of Poole's shows.

That was all it took to get theater stalwarts to come from all over the bay area, including Val and Stuart Sanford; Keith Surplus; Star Dawn Verosic; Lanny Freeman; Mary Ann Boos, musical director in many Poole productions; and Kathleen Monahan, who oversees the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center where Poole did many shows.

Poole, who just passed 84, looked decades younger, thanks to a long honeymoon in Europe, a planned vacation to Asia, lots of California sun and, no doubt, lots of attention from his lifelong friend, now bride, Gerry.