Theatreworks/USA brings its winning "Sarah, Plain and Tall" to Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


"Sarah, Plain and Tall," a touching musical about loss and hope, takes the stage at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on Friday. Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. as part of the center's "ArtsBound" Schoolday Series. The outreach program is sponsored by Regina A. Quick, The Educational Foundation of America and The Kiwanis Club of Fairfield.

Based on Patricia McLachlan's Newberry Medal-winning novel, "Sarah, Plain and Tall" tells the story of lonely widower Jacob Witting and his daughter, Anna, and son, Caleb, who are trying to eke out a living on the windswept Kansas prairie at the turn of the last century. It's set in motion when his newspaper ad for a new bride attracts Sarah Elizabeth Wheaton, an independent woman living with her brother's family in coastal Maine. Sarah's sister-in-law is none to pleased with Sarah's outspoken ways and tosses her out of the house, leaving the single woman to travel west for a one-month trial stay with the still-grieving Witting family.

Sarah's adaptability and innate goodness bring happiness to the house, which has been devoid of joy and song since Witting's wife died in childbirth. Through her spirit, the family learns to live and love again.

Hailed by The New York Times as "a virtually unalloyed delight," "Sarah, Plain and Tall" is directed by Joe Calarco from a book by Julia Jordan. The show includes the memorable tunes by Neil Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe.

Theatreworks/USA is the nation's largest professional not-for-profit theater company for young audiences. The company has brought its lively shows to such far-flung venues as Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center and Native American reservations in the Dakotas.

"Sarah, Plain and Tall" won raves at its 2002 New York premiere at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Critics from the New York Daily News, Variety and Broadway.com all commented that the show was as entertaining and moving for children in the audience as for the adults who accompanied them.

"Mixing deep yearnings, comedy, lively song and music, and excellent performances, 'Sarah, Plain and Tall' is a fine addition to Theatreworks' formidable lineup," wrote Times reviewer Lawrence Van Gelder.

Tickets are $5 and school group study guides are available. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 17, 2002

Vol. 35, No. 136