Performing Arts: Sabrina Fair at Ford’s Theatre

After five years in Paris, the Larrabee’s chauffeur’s daughter comes home, turning the heads of the family’s two sons.

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Tom Story as David and Susan Heyward as Sabrina with (background L to R) Todd Gearhart as Linus and Helen Hedman as Maude in the Ford’s Theatre production of Samuel A. Taylor’s Sabrina Fair, directed by Stephen Rayne. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

as David and as Sabrina with (background L to R) as Linus and as Maude in the Ford’s Theatre production of Samuel A. Taylor’s Sabrina Fair, directed by . Photo by .

Sabrina Fair is a charming and delightful story about the daughter of a chauffer who comes home from Paris after five years, grown up and sophisticated, and soon wins the affections of the family’s two sons. Written by Samuel A. Taylor (whose own son was in attendance on Wednesday night along with several of the show’s sponsors) and directed by Stephen Rayne, Sabrina Fair is playing at Ford’s Theatre through October 24.

“Samuel A Taylor’s Sabrina Fair is a wonderful social comedy that has largely been ignored for the last fifty years,” said Rayne. “We have given the story a fresh perspective by casting black actors in the roles of Sabrina and her father Fairchild and, with no changes to the script, have cast a new light on the struggles faced in relationships across lines of race and class. This simple change invites audiences to look at a story made famous by movie adaptations with fresh eyes and adds a contemporary resonance that many may not expect to find in such an engaging comedy.”

Todd Gearhart as Linus and Susan Heyward as Sabrina in the Ford’s Theatre production of Samuel A. Taylor’s Sabrina Fair, directed by Stephen Rayne. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Todd Gearhart as Linus and Susan Heyward as Sabrina in the Ford’s Theatre production of Samuel A. Taylor’s Sabrina Fair, directed by Stephen Rayne. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Without exception, the cast was brilliant. Susan Heyward‘s Sabrina was strong, idealistic, touching and fully alive. Her encounters with Todd Gearhart, who played the charmingly ruthless Linus Larrabee, fairly crackled with intensity. Tom Story‘s David Larrabee was endearing and sweet. won some of the night’s biggest laughs for his portrayal of the irascible Linus Larrabee, Sr. and Helen Hedman, as Maude Larrabee, balanced him perfectly with her innocence and mother’s love. played Tom Fairchild with restraint and dignity and played Maude’s friend Julia, a woman who has seen and done it all.

The set by and costumes by are both worth mentioning. The play takes place in a beautiful garden set off from an imposing white stone house, everything speaking to luxury and good taste. And the costumes were beautiful, each outfit in tune to the personalities of the characters.

Sabrina Fair is an entertaining and delightful way to spend an evening – not to be missed. For more information and tickets, visit Ford’s Theatre.

2010 HeadshotJulie LaPorte is a freelance writer living outside Washington, D.C. For the past year she has served as a columnist for Washington Life Magazine – penning reviews for the Performing Arts and the Paint the Town columns. She also works as a political marketing copywriter for candidates in local, state and national campaigns as well as for Congressional franked mail.

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