Sabrina Fair

Sabrina Fair

Infobox Play
name = Sabrina Fair

image_size =
caption =
writer = Samuel A. Taylor
chorus =
characters = nowrap|Linus Larrabee Jr. nowrap|Sabrina Fairchild nowrap|David Larrabee nowrap|Maude Larrabee
mute =
setting = The North Shore of Long Island about an hour from New York.
date of premiere = November 11, 1953
country of Origin =
original language =
series =
subject =
genre =
web =
playbill_event =
ibdb_id = 2387

"Sabrina Fair" (subtitled "A Woman Of The World") is a romantic comedy written by Samuel A. Taylor. It ran on Broadway for a total of 318 performances, opening at the National Theatre on November 11, 1953. Directed by H. C. Potter, with sets and lights designed by Donald Oenslager, it starred Margaret Sullavan and Joseph Cotten, with Cathleen Nesbitt, John Cromwell, and Russell Collins in major supporting roles. The critic for "The New York Times", Brooks Atkinson, praised both the script and the production for its droll wit, writing that "One of the most attractive qualities of "Sabrina Fair" is the opportunity it provides for enjoying the foibles and crises of some fairly scrupulous human beings."cite news|author=Brooks Atkinson|title=SABRINA FAIR'; Margaret Sullavan and Joseph Cotten In a Delightful Comedy of Manners|publisher=The New York Times"|date=November 22, 1953] For Atkinson, the play's clever dialogue placed it beyond a Cinderella romance and into the more exalted realm of high comedy, in the tradition of S. N. Behrman, Philip Barry, and W. Somerset Maugham.

This play is the basis for both the 1954 movie, directed by Billy Wilder, and the 1995 remake. Wilder's extensive revision of the plot led to Taylor's qutting the project and his replacement by Ernest Lehman. [cite book|author=Ed Sikov|title=On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder|publisher=Hyperion|location=New York|date=1998|pages=350|isbn=978-078686194-1]


Sabrina Fairchild is the daughter of a chauffeur to the wealthy Larrabee family, who live in a mansion on the North Shore of Long Island. Returning from a stay in Paris after working as the private secretary to the "Assistant Economic Commissioner Office of Special Representative for Europe Economic Cooperation Administration", she presents herself as a young woman of beauty, charm, incredible sophistication and zest for living, so different from the domestic's daughter the family had largely ignored. She proclaims her desire "to do everything and see everything, sense everything; to know that life is an enormous experience and must be used. To be in the world, and of the world, and never stand aside and watch." Although she once had a crush on David Larrabee, the young playboy of the family, and returns to America with a wealthy French suitor in tow, she finds herself drawn to Linus Larrabee, whose intelligence, lack of sentimentality, and knowledge of the world stimulates her. When its revealed that Sabrina's father has amassed a fortune on the stock market over the past decades, she is able to woo and win Linus as her financial, as well as intellectual, equal.

The title cites John Milton's song from his masque "Comus" (1634), which is quoted in the play:

With its patrician setting, witty dialogue, and development of a romantic plot between two clever and committed idealists across class lines, "Sabrina Fair" has much in common with Philip Barry's comedy, "Holiday".


Further reading

*cite book|author=Samuel A. Taylor|title=Sabrina Fair; or, A woman of the world. A romantic comedy|location=New York|publisher=Random House|date=1954|oclc=399520

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