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Sabrina Fair speaks more with emotion than words
A small production quietly taking shape at the Bremerton Community Theatre could possibly make quite a bit of noise in the hearts of romantic comedy lovers. The only complication being that they wont have the magic of a camera.
Well, of course, they wont have a camera, its live theater.
However, Sabrina Fair, the play which the BCT cast of 13 is undertaking, is probably best well-known for 1940s-50s era director Billy Wilders onscreen adaptation starring Audrey Hepburn as the fairest lady of all, Sabrina (1954).
When you read a play like this on the surface it doesnt seem like it would be that hard, but showing this entire process of their thinking and how they decide they are in love is really, really challenging, said director Donna Barland of the plays love story. In a movie, they can do different settings and get close-ups of the characters faces ... you cant do that on stage.
Sabrina Fair is one big love story set amidst a clash in the social class structure as Sabrina Fairchild, daughter of a chauffeur to a wealthy Long Island estate (played by a breakout local actress Alicia Hill), who finds herself in love with a member of the higher class family. But thats a feeling shes not permitted to act upon because of her social stature.
It was originally a story penned by Samuel A. Taylor which was directed on Broadway by H.C. Potter in 1953, inspiring the 1954 Wilder flick.
However, Wilder took such directorial license with his revisions to the script that the storys original author eventually abandoned the movie project.
Still, the film was nominated for six Academy Awards including a nod to Wilder as Best Director.
Now more than 50 years later, the cast and crew at BCT will be presenting the story more in way in which Taylor had probably seen it.
Theres a lot in it about family and family relationships and how money affects people in their growing up, in their relationships and in how they view and relate to other people, Barland said.
The play is set in 1955, but its themes envelope decades and are still quite relevant today.
Democracy can be a wickedly unfair thing, says Fairchild, Sabrinas Father (played by Kitsap theater veteran Curtis Miller).
To relate, in those days, while everyone is supposedly equal, if a person of class was to marry a servant they would be looked upon as generous, however if a servant attempted to marry a person of class theyd be looked at as gold-diggers.
But in Sabrinas world, a theme common to nearly all romantic comedies prevails, love is blinding.
Its been really different for me, Ive acted in things like this before, but normally I like to direct very broad comedies where you know what you are laughing at because its so blatant, said Barland who directed BCTs Moon over Buffalo and Born Yesterday. Weve had to dig deeper and be able to make more subtle statements.
Luckily for Barland, she agrees, shes had an exceedingly good cast which pairs a few new faces, like Hill whos only other theatrical role had been as a back-up singer, with a host of Kitsap theater veterans, like former BCT president Judy Nichols, the always emphatic Rhonda Romaine and other experience-laden cats like Miller and Charlie Birdsell.
Most of them are veterans that Ive worked with on and off for the past 20 years, Barland said. And theres a couple of young people just starting out that are wonderful and very enthusiastic.
Tickets are $10 general/$9 seniors and students/$7 kids under 12. The show will run through Dec. 2 with curtains at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays.