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Expect ‘Vanity Fair’ to be joyful fun

Scripps Ranch Theatre presents “Vanity Fair,” starring (from left) Parth Kichloo, Alyssa Anne Austin, Sara Blanch Hayes and Dagmar Fields. “Vanity Fair” runs May 23-June 16. (photo by Ken Jacques)

Expect ‘Vanity Fair’ to be joyful fun

By Ashley Shah

Scripps Ranch Theatre is hosting its production of “Vanity Fair” beginning May 23 and running on weekends to June 16. 

“‘Vanity Fair” was written by Kate Hamill who is known for taking historical fiction and transforming it into something more whimsical and comedic. She has done this with a couple of Jane Austen stories, and more,” director Jacquelyn Ritz said. 

The story is set in the 1830s in London. 

“Through this production, we follow two women from very different paths of life. We get to watch how their decisions, choices and actions affect them. We get to see the two women reflect on their lives as the production goes on,” Ritz said.

Becky Sharp, played by Alyssa Austin, is a clever, power-driven woman. 

“Becky comes from nothing, but she is all about getting stuff done. She is adaptable; she has a brain and charm; she does everything with flair. However, she is judged for the way she acts,” Ritz said. 

Amelia Sedley, played by Mikaela Macias, is the picture-perfect young woman. 

“Amelia comes from a well-to-do family. She does everything right; she does what a young lady is supposed to do. However, we find that she is not always sure about the choices she made throughout her life,” Ritz said. 

The manager, played by Dagmar Fields, is the best friend of the audience. 

“The manager sits down with the audience and asks us about what we are seeing. The manager will ask if we agree with the choices made by the characters, or whether we think the characters will like the outcomes of their choices,” Ritz said. 

All the other actors play characters such as husbands, lovers, fathers and other women. 

In addition to the storyline, there will be a musical element to the show.

“This is not a musical, but there will be a heavy musical component. All of the actors are making the music themselves. It is going to be a blast,” Ritz said. “There will be the joy of a musical. I feel that music elevates things, which is why I wanted to include that in this production.” 

Despite the joy of the production, Ritz does anticipate some challenges. 

“We are trying to fit a lot into this production. The production itself is already short for what it is based on – a novel that kept building on itself. We are also trying to include music, dancing and a whimsical set,” she said. “I know we will get everything done, and it will turn out fantastic.” 

She is looking forward to the audience viewing this production. 

“I had originally pitched this play before COVID had hit. We were supposed to run it in the spring of that year, but we pushed it off,” Ritz said. “We are finally getting to run this play. I am so excited because there is lots of music and dancing. It is whimsical, and funny. The audience is going to love how it keeps you on the edge of your seat.” 

“Vanity Fair” will be held on the campus of Alliant International University. Visit scrippsranchtheatre.org. Purchase tickets online at scrippsranchtheatre.org/tickets or contact SRT Patron Services at (858) 395-0573.