“Aging up to play Ida Straus is a real joy and a privilege,” says Sonoma actor Cindy Brillhart-True. The Arizona-born performer, who has lived in Sonoma for 20 years and runs her own bookkeeping business in town, is currently appearing as the real-
life Straus in a critically-acclaimed Rohnert Park production of “Titanic: the musical.” Based not on the Kate Winslet-Leonardo DiCaprio movie, but on true historical reports of the epic 1912 maritime disaster, the 1997 musical – which won five Tony awards including Best Musical – is running through Sunday, Oct. 30 at Spreckels Performing Arts Center.
Brillhart-True, last seen locally in Sonoma Arts Live’s production of “Calendar Girls,” has performed in various theaters all over the North Bay. She is particularly well-known for her recurring role as Sister Mary Amnesia in a number of “Nunsense” productions over the years.
In “Titanic,” she plays Ida Straus, the wife of millionaire Isidor Straus, a co-owner of Macy’s Department Stores, until the couple perished when the mighty steamship sunk on April 15, 1912. According to reports, when the ship struck an iceberg, Ida was offered a seat on one of the few lifeboats, which were being deployed for women and children only.
After placing one foot in the lifeboat, Ida stepped back out again, having made the decision to die with her husband rather than be separated from him. According to the Straus’s family, the two had only been separated from one another for 20 days total, during the entire course of their marriage.
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