The long and winding road

 By Madeline Scheier, Soap Opera Digest, 1992

 Home   Cette page en Français  

Remember the seventies - the Hustle, platform shoes and mood rings ?  Santa Barbara head writer Pam Long hasn't forgotten. "I was thinking about where Cruz was at this point in his life," she says. "I thought a reunion would be a wonderful way to bring Cruz and the people who knew him best together." Of course, it's no coincidence that Long recently received an invitation to her own high school reunion. Before you could say "cheerleader", Cruz got an invitation asking him to take a walk down The Long and Winding Road (Long's own high school class song, courtesy of the Beatles, and the theme of Santa Barbara's reunion).

To give the evening that seventies feeling, Dominic Messinger, composer and music director at Santa Barbara, read Billboard's almanac of music and took a look at his own record collection. "It was important to me to use music that they would have heard during high school between 1968 and 1971. Leon Russell's A Song For You was a big hit in late '71," he notes. "The lyrics, I've Been so Many Places in my Life and Times, set up the feeling of nostalgia and romance."

Diane Eden, costume designer for Santa Barbara , admits that outfitting the main characters and fifty extras in seventies garb was a challenge. She looked at yearbooks from 1971 and 1972 and scoured vintage clothing stores searching for beaded leather vests, embroidered shirts and peace sign necklaces. "We couldn't just go down to the mall and buy it all," she laughs.

Since it was a high school reunion, it seemed only fitting that the actors would don prom wear. Eden boasts that Santa Barbara now has "the most hideous collection of tuxedos you've ever seen. We have mustard, salmon and powder blue, and lots of ruffled shirts with big bow ties."

Kim Zimmer (Jodie) made her first appearance on the soap in an outfit she'll never forget. The frilly powder-blue evening gown was "not the most attractive dress to be wearing on a first show," she laughs. But she admits the gown certainly fit in with the times. "I graduated in 1973, so this is just perfect timing. But I have selective memory loss. I don't really remember the seventies all that well." Although Zimmer says she spent "eight hours on my butt" waiting for her grand entrance, she couldn't think of a better introduction. "It's been a nice intro to my first day. Our school never looked this elaborate," she smiles.

Elaborate was just what Santa Barbara set decorator Richard Walker had in mind. "The look we wanted was somewhere between Saturday Night Fever and Carrie", explains Walker . Actors brought in their old high school photos, which were then blown up and hung on the "memorabilia wall." "We tried to make it as authentic as possible," states Walker . "We had mirrored balls to die for, anything that glittered or sparkled, disco lights and, of course, (the school's) colors - purple and gold." Walker admits that the most difficult task was filling the set they used, which was three times the size of the normal Santa Barbara set, with helium balloons.

Did the actors have any complaints about working long hours and wearing dreadful clothes ? "The studio has been vibrating," exclaims Long. "They (the actors) had fun even though they worked like dogs." Eileen Davidson (Kelly) adds, "It's really great. It's like we're putting on a number in the garage, except we're getting paid to look foolish."

Click on the photos to enlarge them
Jack Wagner (Warren Lockridge), Karen Moncrieff (Cassandra Benedict Lockridge), Maria Ellingsen (Katrina Ruyker) and Michael Brainard (Ted Capwell)