Each one of these performers shares a couple of remarkable qualities with the others. All have tremendous humility for their art and craft. They also have great respect and appreciation for their audiences. You won't be disappointed seeing any one of them do what they do.
The multitalented gentleman of Sacramento theater lights up the stage when on it. Wheatley makes it look effortless but always brings an essential quality to his performances.
She's a genius with a guitar or dobro and many other stringed instruments. Barwick specializes in authentic American bluegrass but could easily play her way across Ireland and never once buy her own glass of ale.
If Johnson were older I'd be tempted to call him the dean of Sacramento actors, but I'll just call him something special. He's a stalwart of the B Street Theatre acting company, but as much as he works he creates a whole new compelling character every time out.
Here's an actor with that mysterious quality that allows him to slip into a role and come out on stage as a lascivious French nobleman or goofy Midwestern nerd with equal aplomb and commitment. He's always just the character and you always watch him.
The stylish, larger-than-life presence that harmonica virtuoso Estrin exhibits on stage comes from studying old masters of rhythm and blues that he sought out in his youth. As good as he looks on stage, it wouldn't matter if he didn't play as well as he does.
A Sacramento-based actor and director who could work anywhere she wanted, she was last seen here in Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking." Several observers claimed Stevens' performance made the play a fuller experience than they had with it on Broadway.
As distinctive as he is, Roberts can be unrecognizable onstage, as in "Oh, is that him?" The midtown resident works more around the country than he does here, but he always makes a notable addition to any cast.
The composer and jazz pianist has a terrific new album, "Relativity," which deserves national exposure, but the low-key Gilman isn't exactly a hype machine. Even though he's left the Capital Jazz Project, which he co-founded, Gilman still plays regularly sometimes with his peers and sometimes with much younger guys who should be thrilled at their good fortune.
A terrific rock guitarist and underrated songwriter, Farrell can break out the great guitar tricks (behind-the-back or behind-the-head solos), does power jumps like Pete Townsend used to and knows how to dress like he's going on stage, not getting ready to fix his car.
Jones' husband, the director and actor Michael Stevenson, once told me, "Every time she takes a role, I think 'That's perfect for her.' " He's right each time.