Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Meet Sarah.  Having recently  made the trek west from Alabama, Sarah is still trying to figure out exactly where she fits into her new Oregon home.  She spends much of her time observing the other girls and trying to figure out the appropriate ways to act.  Although she takes a bit from each of the six girls in her social circle, Sarah can't help but hang on the wise words of Milly.

Although she has her pick of suitors, she's being courted most directly by Zeke, a handsome young man whose manners remind her of the southern hospitality she left behind.  

What Zeke may not realize is that although Sarah loves to be the center of attention at the parties, she's never been kissed, and the thought of being alone with him (or any other man), scares her half to death.  When Milly describes going off with her husband Adam to a sheltered cabin just for two, Sarah makes up her mind to entertain suitors in public only!

But Sarah didn't account for meeting Frank Pontipee, a handsome mountain man whose shirt matches her favorite hair bows and who happens to be as tall as a church steeple, a major selling point for this southern girl who wants to be taken care of and protected on the Oregon frontier.

And then there's Frank's unique ability to sweep her off her feet - literally.

Things get a little complicated for Sarah, however, when she realizes that both Frank and Zeke are willing to fight for her.  Unable to decide between the two, Sarah decides to leave it up to whichever man leaves the social dance as the winner.

When Zeke picks a fight with Adam, the oldest Pontipee, she figures she has made up her mind and will continue to allow Zeke to court her.

Much to Zeke's delight, she even decides to let him give her one little kiss, if he promises to close his eyes first.  Sarah gets her first kiss, alright.  But not from the genteel Zeke.

Just as Sarah is deciding that kissing isn't as scary as she once thought, she realizes she isn't kissing Zeke at all.  Unprepared for this turn of events, she kicks and screams all the way through the mountain pass, contributing to the avalanche that keeps her trapped with Frank and the Pontipees (and five of her closest friends) for the winter.

But Frank has his charms, and it isn't long before he's convinced her to give kissing him another try.

Although she can't shake her obedient nature and her shyness still makes her a bit hesitant, Sarah gives into the entertaining game of being courted by Frank.  She even learns to make a few moves of her own.

A bit drunk on the power she wields over Frank, Sarah eventually gains confidence in herself and in her place in life.  Not only that, but she starts to see more than just fascination in Frank's face.

Sarah starts to realize it isn't really a game anymore, and that she can't imagine being with anyone other than Frank Pontipee for the rest of her life.  But the coming of spring brings with it the knowledge that she will have to get permission from her family and the town before being allowed to marry Frank.

With the help of a little, white lie (Sarah and the other girls each claim responsibility for a baby the townspeople hear after the spring thaw), Sarah is able to stand with her best friends to marry the Pontipee clan.

Sarah even gets Zeke's blessing - in the form of a shotgun wedding.

As Sarah holds Frank's hands, they listen to the preacher speak the words that will bind them.  She looks up into his eyes and sees that he's actually crying.  In this exact moment, Sarah falls completely in love with Frank.  And she knows that she is all in.

I'm proud to get to be a part of this (and six other love stories) in the Empress Theatre's Seven Brides for Seven Brothers