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Sarah, Plain and Tall Stands Above the Crowd


by Gail Sachson 28 Apr 2009

Guest Blogger Gail Sachson owns Ask Me About Art,  is Vice-Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission, a Public Art Committee member and the Office of Cultural  Affairs Liaison to the Dallas Theater Center. Even if you’re not plain, strange, tall or peculiar, as Sarah of the show is described, you will love the world premiere of […]

CTA TBD

Guest Blogger Gail Sachson owns Ask Me About Art,  is Vice-Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission, a Public Art Committee member and the Office of Cultural  Affairs Liaison to the Dallas Theater Center.

sptEven if you’re not plain, strange, tall or peculiar, as Sarah of the show is described, you will love the world premiere of the musical Sarah, Plain and Tall now at the Dallas Theater Center. The cleverly designed stage goes round, as the lives of the two very different families at the end of the 19th century go round and intersect with each other. The actors and their characters do the best they can — as we do in the 21st century — not to fall off the moving stage, or the stage of life.

Written by Patricia MacLachlan in 1985 as a 52-page children’s book, Sarah, Plain and Tall concerns loss, sibling rivalry, family unity, romance, managing marriage and women belittled as unattractive. The trials and tribulations of life are very much the same for both children and adults today. It was all there  in the century before, and it’s  all  here now.

We know loss today. Loss of home. Loss of job. Loss of money. Death is always with us. Perhaps our definition of family is broader, but sibling rivalry and blended families still pose a challenge. The mail order bride, like Sarah, has been replaced by match.com, but we’re still surprised when the matched person doesn’t turn out  as expected.

Jacob in Kansas was certainly not expecting Sarah from Maine to be “the kind of woman who names chickens and wants to wear my pants.” Sarah is not sure of Jacob either. She swears she won’t change for him in “Is It Me You Want to Kiss?” His musical response “I Would Not Kiss You…Goodbye” results  in audible audience sighs. Would it be that real life turned out so well.

Sighs, gasps, stifled sobs, laughter and loud applause. Those are the sounds you’ll hear from the audience. Sarah, Plain and Tall is not just for children anymore. From the stage you’ll hear memorable melodies with meaningful lyrics – truisms  that will last the test of time, like “It Comes and Goes”, sung by Sarah and Jacob. Get your ticket now, before Sarah, Plain and Tall goes . . . to Broadway.

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