R.I.P. Lars, plus Aye Jay and Jake Early keep the Chico prints coming

Lars Logan

Lars Logan

There is no preparing for this. On Saturday night, Dec. 13, 2008, well-known and well-loved Chico thespian/poet/arts advocate Lars Logan was found dead in his home, one week before his 36th birthday. It is shocking news regardless of the delivery, and the Chico arts community is indeed in shock.

Logan was a cast member of the recent Rogue Theatre production Times Square Angel showing at 1078 Gallery, and when he didn’t show up for the final performance, his girlfriend, Kat Lawhn, went to check on him. He was in his bed. No one knows how he died, and autopsy results won’t be released for at least two weeks.

“We’re all just in shock,” said Rogue’s Betty Burns, who directed the play at 1078. “This cast became so tight—everyone is devastated.”

Perhaps best known by theatergoers for the role that he was born to play, the creepy handyman Riff Raff in the annual Rocky Horror Show at the Chico Cabaret, Logan was a regular on local stages—at the Cabaret, Blue Room, Shakespeare on the Plaza and most recently the heartbreaking turn with the Rogue company.

Lars as Riff Raff

I knew Lars for nearly a decade. We weren’t close friends. We were more like cousins or brothers-in-law in the greater Chico family of art/music types, and our paths have crossed several times over the past decade or so. We put on music together at the old Moxie’s Café. We read poetry together at poetry slams. We worked together at the Senator Theatre when the Right Now Foundation transformed the old landmark into a performance venue (he as a dedicated volunteer, myself as an opportunistic promoter).

And, as it turned out, we worked together this past Wednesday night, when Lars and Kat took part in the poetry slam that the CN&R hosted at the 1078 Gallery. Lars was his usual endearing and animated self, forgoing the microphone to share his poems in the voices of various characters. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to say hello and work together again, and to have been able to touch his hand one last time.

Sweet and quiet in a crowd, Lars would open up in one-on-one moments, revealing a very soulful, passionate and exceedingly kind human with a deliciously twisted sense of humor that will be profoundly missed by his friends, family and the Chico community.

A memorial service will take place at the Chico Cabaret Sunday (Dec. 21) at 4 p.m. In addition, the family is in need of help to pay for funeral costs. Donations can be sent c/o Lars’ aunt Sandi Stanbery, 1040 Middlehoff Lane, Oroville, CA 95965. For further info, call 534-7833.

If you’d like to share your stories about Lars or condolences, please leave your comments below.

Last-minute Chico gift ideas

Print princes
I swear, I don’t have a crush on Chico’s printmakers. I’m just thinking that during the holiday season, the combo of locally produced and locally themed artwork is can’t-miss gift-giving gold. Quickly: The winter installment of Jake Early’s Four Seasons of Chico series, a seven-color serigraph of a chilly-looking walnut tree on Chico Street, is out, completing the set. All four prints in the series are still available at Chico Paper Co. (345 Broadway). Also, Aye Jay Morano follows up the recent release of his Duffy’s and Thunderbird prints with two more subjects that are scheduled to go on sale at Art, Etc. (122 W. Third St.) beginning Friday (Dec. 19): one is an homage to Chico’s beloved taco trucks and the other is a snapshot of Collier Hardware’s familiar green façade.