Monday, September 23, 2013


The title "Bette Davis Ain't for Sissies" defines the character of the legendary actress who played by her own rules, fought the system and was outspoken throughout her career.  Clearly she took no prisoners and never backed down from a challenge.

To meet the young Miss Davis, early in her iconic stage and screen history, attend the Chekhov International Theatre Festival on Thursday, September 26 at 8 p.m. to see an amazing Jessica Sherr in her original one woman show "Bette Davis Ain't for Sissies."  The one night only performance will take place at the Theatre at Schlumberger, 36 Old Quarry Road, Ridgefield.

The festival includes three other unusual offerings:  Friday, September 27 at 8 p.m. "Apple" by Verne Thiessen, an unexpected play of secrets, sex and second chances;  Saturday, September 28 at 2 p.m., "Milk a Cow's Tail" by Sheri Graubert, a staged reading of a new play bound for Broadway; and Saturday, September 28 at 8 p.m., "Killer Therapy" by Brandt Johnson, a comedy about an assassin who seeks a therapist's help.

Tickets are only $10 each or all four shows for $25.  Go to  An art show will take place during the festival, "Uncommon Landscapes" by Suzanne Benton, Alberta Cifolelli and Stephanie Joyce.

Jessica Sherr has captured the sharp tongue and brazen personality that marked Bette Davis' infamous "bumpy ride" through the streets of Hollywood.  In a show whe wrote herself, Sherr takes her captivated audience along as the controversial icon learns a hard fact on the night of the 1939 Oscar Awards:  she will not win her third statue for her role as Judith Traherne, a socialite who suffers a brain tumor and blindness, in "Dark Victory."  She will lose to Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind."  To make matters more bitter, Davis had originally been considered for the role to play the Southern belle.

Revealing herself as both fierce and fragile, Sherr takes her Bette backward in time from that fateful Oscar night, touching on incidents that got her to that point in her rise to stardom.  Her involving monologue includes many of the fascinating personages who helped and hindered her journey, from studio heads to directors, choreographers to leading actors and actresses.  A fashion show of 1940's vintage clothing accompanies her trip back in time.

"Bette Davis Ain't for Sissies" is an idea that grew out of an acting workshop assignment.  Because of her own red hair and comedic style, Sherr was originally going to focus on Lucille Ball.  But a chance remark by a friend, that she had "Bette Davis eyes," sent her in a totally different direction.

Come see how successful that direction is as Jessica Sherr brings Bette Davis, the iconic legend, to breathtaking life.

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