interview by Joan Pine
Single…married…single AND married…Rachel Bailit’s Sugar Happens: A One Girl Show is back with two more acts. Actually, they are alternative endings to the first Sugar Happens play that was performed previously at the Strasberg Institute, and for which Bailit won this publication’s Best Stage Actress award.
In the first new ending, she is married with children and living in the Valley, and in the second conclusion, she is a "singer." Both of these acts occur 20 years into the future. Kind of a "what if."
This is an interesting concept for Rachel, and it gives her a chance to display the range of her considerable talents. She really can sing and definitely can be funny. If you liked her version of it at the Strasberg Institute in Hollywood, then you will really like this newly revised, reworked and expanded version of the original concept.
Rachel and her writer/friend Sherry Coben (who also wrote Kate and Allie for TV) have constructed a faster paced, tighter script with lots more laughs. Even the original first act has been reworked and has more comedy, wit and wisdom. Rachel, too, is better. She is getting more earned laughs as a comic and not relying on her considerable sexual appeal so much.
She can be really funny and clearly enjoys being this character. When she is talking about her boobs, she quips, "be nice to them…they are attached", and her many poignant words of wisdom ("Maybe I was happy this whole time and somehow missed it") put her in the category of still going forward with her life.
In the first act, she is just talking about life in the single lane as a woman, as a Jewish woman and as an aspiring actress in Hollywood. There is one bit where she is being mugged and the mugger returns her money on the theory that she needs it more than he does. This was very funny and very well done.
In the next act and just around the corner, she meets Mr. Right. They marry, have two daughters and a house in the Valley. Her red hair is now suburb blonde and her clothes are Bloomingdale’s. But is she happy? (Hmmm?) Is he a putz? (Hmmm!) Is happily ever after just a cliché? Is she itching to go back to acting?
But what if…she stayed in acting, and never followed her dream of getting married…what if? In the third act, she plays a barfly/ho/singer with the reddest red dress and reddest red lipstick to ever appear on a stage. She is still in showbiz and seems more than "glad to entertain you."
Being on stage for 90 minutes straight is no easy feat, but director Phil Ramuno made everything look easy. Rachel and Ramuno chose the costumes, and that last red dress was a knockout!
Sugar Happens: A One Girl Show will be at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks on August 15th. Outlook readers are strongly advised to call 310-403-9436 for tickets and to visit the actress’ website at www.rachelbailit.com for all future dates.
—Beverly Hills Outlook