Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Sunday, August 9, 2015

All's Fair in Orange County

It's true that a writer can be sidetracked by the siren songs of summer events in Southern California. Especially, perhaps, if that writer for eons has been cloistered far from their lure. Now that I'm home once more in the Southland, I'd planned long uninterrupted days of fashioning fiction. Instead I'm out dancing to the hypnotic beat of the summertime.

This past week I sat in on what used to be called "dress rehearsal," but is now "final dress," for the Westminster Community Playhouse season opener, Sabrina Fair. The 1953 Broadway production served as the basis for the film, "Sabrina," which starred Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. The latter, directed by Billy Wilder, differed in great detail from the original play, which lead the author, Samuel A. Taylor, to divorce himself from the production. A remake in 1995 featured Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear.

Though I loved the Hepburn film, mostly because she sang the haunting "La Vie en Rose" in French, the local play production enchanted me. I could imagine basking in the walled garden by the terrace of the Long Island mansion, lounging in the lawn chairs, sipping cocktails and gazing at the stars overhead, just as did the cast.

Other pluses include the ebullient performance of Tiffany Berg as Sabrina. The women's costumes, from seamed hosiery to matching belts and heels, and elegant hairstyles set me right back into the Eisenhower era. I even had owned a polka dot dress similar to one worn by Alison Mattiza, playing Aunt Julia in this production.

Run dates and times for this production are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and Sunday matinees at 2, through August 23. Tickets information can be found here: Reservations: 714-893-8626.

 The Orange County Fair continues its "One Big Party" to celebrate its 125th year of operation, with a closing date of August 16. I went on a Friday, taking advantage of mild temperatures and a senior admission special, plus the $2 sampler snacks, featured by nearly every food vendor. Highlights for me in the crafts pavilion included the wonderful woodworking displays or handcarved guitars, a crocheted wedding dress, and quilts featuring nursery rhymes.

I admired a miniature horse snacking on grass for a buck a peek, cashed in on a free ride on the ferris wheel (a Catalina view was obscured by the marine layer), and sampled mint chocolate chip gelato, chicken fajitas and polish sausage on grilled french bread. I said a wholehearted "no" though, to chocolate-covered pork rinds or bacon, and even bypassed the deep fried pineapple.

This next week I'll be writing...I promise myself I'll finally finish the story inspired by my spring trip to the Wildacres writing retreat. I generally fare well with promises.

More information on the Orange County Fair:

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