Our Laguna: All about Eve Plumb

Eve Plumb, known to folks around the world as Jan on "The Brady Bunch," is known in Laguna as a neighbor, owner of a historic house, former Design Review Board member and part of the make up crew for the Pageant of the Masters.

She won't be seen here for a while — and she doesn't know long a while it will be. Plumb has a plum role in an off-Broadway production with no closing date.

"We [she and husband Ken Pace] have rented out our house and taken an apartment in New York," Plumb said in a recent telephone conversation while standing on Fifth Avenue.

"A big hello to everyone and we will be back."

She had just had lunch with Laguna Art Museum benefactor Laura Rohl. Rohl and her husband has seen Plumb perform the night before in "Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage."

Plumb stars in the two-person cast as Miss Abigail, advisor on matters of the heart in simpler times.

"I have performed on stage before, but never in anything as big as this," Plumb said. "There is a lot of dialogue in a two-person show.

"I used to be nervous, but that fear fell away."

Her role as Miss Abigail is a back breaker: eight performances a week, matinees and evening shows on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The stage is dark Mondays and Tuesdays.

The show opened Oct. 24 at the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre at Sofia on 46th Street next to the Lunt-Fantanne Theatre.

"I'm thrilled to be making my New York debut as Miss Abigail this fall," Plumb said. "And from what I've seen on 'Sex and the City,' it sounds like this show is exactly what New Yorkers need!"

The reviews have been favorable. In Entertainment Weekly: "Eve Plumb, a.k.a. Jan Brady, shines Off Broadway in 'Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage.'

The play is based Abigail Grotke's popular book with the same title. It is the story of the most sought-after relationship expert of her day and her sexy sidekick, Paco, as

they tour the world, preaching "how to's," such as how to kiss, what subjects to discuss on a date and how to let a man think he wears the pants.

It is set in the time when more than half the couples that married stayed married and Fidelity was more than an investment firm."

Ken Davenport and Sarah Saltzberg wrote the script for the play, which was previously performed at the former Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

"I was in New York for a couple of months in July and August and I auditioned for the show," Plumb said.

Rehearsals began in September for the New York run.

Plumb has spent years distancing herself Jan Brady — reportedly going so as to dye her blond hair red. She is the only "Brady" that did not participate in "The Brady Bunch Hour" in 1977, although she honors the unspoken cast pact to be as polite as possible when questioned about the show.

Life After "The Brady Bunch" includes roles in "The Love Boat," "That '70s Show," "Days of Our Lives," "All My Children," the Saturday morning sitcom "Fudge," and Beth in "Little Women." She appeared in the feature film "Fudge-A-Mania" and performed with the prestigious Los Angeles-based Groundlings improvisational comedy troupe.

1990s alternative rock band, Eve's Plumb, was named in her honor

The dainty blond actress — she stands a petite 5 feet, 2 inches tall — is also a painter. Her oils are sold in galleries in Cape Cod, Connecticut, Tennessee, Arizona and "one of the Carolinas." Her focus is "spontaneous still lifes."

Plumb is a California girl, born April 29, 1958, in Burbank, one of recording company executive Neeley Plumb's four children. She has a brother and two sisters.

Plumb was baptized in a movie theater that moonlighted on Sundays as church, according to some records.

She made her acting debut in television commercials in 1966. The following year she appeared on "The Big Valley" with Barbara Stanwyck. She was on the show for three episodes, playing a different character each time.

But for now, it's the Big Apple for Eve.

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CHILDREN'S PALETTES EXHIBITED

Winners of the annual Children's Holiday Palette program will be exhibited in City Hall through Jan. 3.

The painters of the winning entries were introduced at the Dec. 7 City Council meeting by Arts Commissioner Lisa Mansour, chairwoman of the program, and Mary Ferguson, commission chairwoman.

Here are this year's winners, from oldest to youngest, with palette titles:

Kendall Cornell, 17, "Oceanic"

Brenna Merchant, 13, "Under the Sea"

Emily Baker, 10, "Midnight Drift"

Alyssa Bashaw, 9, "Rudolph at the Beach"

Lucinda Becker, "The Magic of Mermaids"

Jeannette Hunker, 9, "Rudolph Surfing"

Clair Kelly, 9, "Jet Skiing Santa"

Jade Misumi, 9, "Holiday Sea Lion"

Ryan Cortellessa, 8, "Dog Holidays"

Tatiana Moore, 8, "Santa's Vacation"

Cade St. Clair, 8 "Ode to Joy"

Natalia Hagopian, 6, "Santa Claus"

Outgoing Mayor Elizabeth Pearson, still suffering from the effects of the respiratory ailment that has plagued her for weeks, presented the awards.

"I am losing my voice, but I am delighted to be able to present these awards to the 2010 Children's Holiday Palette winners," Pearson said.

Parents and family of the winners filled the Council Chamber to see the youngsters honored.

Pacific Symphony Maestro Carl St. Clair, who is more used to being in the spotlight than in the audience, rushed from a board meeting to see the presentation.

Cameras flashed at the end of the presentation as parents memorialized the event and gave the kids a standing ovation.

"This is the seventh year we have conducted the program, which is funded by the lodging establishments [via the Business Improvement Fund] and the city," Ferguson said.

Almost 300 entries were submitted this year.

"And we can only choose 12 winners," Mansour lamented.

OUR LAGUNA is a regular feature of the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot. Contributions are welcomed. Write to Barbara Diamond, P.O. Box 248, Laguna Beach, 92652; call (949) 380-4321 or e-mail coastlinepilot@latimes.com.

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