A face-lift for Trixie
ARTIST BERNICE PECORA (left) touched up Trxie’s new face, while Jocelyn Vick (right) of the Sebastiani Theatre Foundation will select the mannequin’s new hairdo and wardrobe.
Have you noticed? The Plaza seems oddly vacant, somehow lacking its usual whimsy these days.
Maybe that’s because Trixie, the bright-eyed mannequin who watches over Sonoma from her ticket booth at the Sebastiani Theatre, is on vacation – taking a month-long spa trip to get a little nip and tuck.
“Everybody deserves a little pampering now and again,” said Roger Rhoten, operator of the theatre. He explained that Trixie, more than anyone else in Sonoma, needs to look her best. “I do believe she is the most photographed person in Sonoma. She’s been in the New York Times, even.”
It’s true, Trixie has captured the imagination of both tourists and Sonoma natives since she took ownership of the box office 18 years ago. But life wasn’t always so peachy for Trixie, she came from a rough background before she was rescued by Sonoma native and Sebastiani supporter Jeff Gilbert.
“She was kind of in a bad situation. She had a bit of a drinking problem, and we needed to get her out of where she was,” Rhoten said quietly, avoiding any further comments on her checkered past as a fixture in a local watering hole. “We were able to help her out and give her a job. She’s been thriving since she came to the Sebastiani.”
While everything came up roses for Trixie in the end, the old gal was looking a bit dated. Jocelyn Vick, president of the Sebastiani Theatre Foundation, asked Rhoten if she could arrange a face-lift and makeover for the fashionable figure. He said, “I think she’d like that.”
Vick turned to neighbor and noted artist Bernice Pecora, who has painted extensively in watercolor, acrylic and oils, but admits this was her first mannequin. She began by sanding down the original paint on Trixie’s face, and repairing damage to her skull that may have occurred when her ticket booth was vandalized in 2007.
“Her head was cracked. I did her brain surgery,” laughed Pecora, who said after some plaster, Trixie’s noggin is as good as new. “At one point, she had a cigarette in her mouth. The glue had worked its way out and looked like a mole on her lip, so I removed that, too.”
That was probably for the best since Trixie gave up her smoking days. Rhoten, who once worked as a professional make-up artist in Las Vegas, helped oversee her new look. Her icy blue eyes were restored with their trademark twinkle, fringed with new lacy lashes; while her mouth pops with a pouty coat of ruby red lipstick. Rhoten said she’ll be getting a new hairdo, and Vick is considering wardrobe options to update her passé sweater-set style.
Trixie, who has been out of the booth for more than a month, has been sorely missed by the Sonoma community. Rhoten has fielded a number of calls and visits from people inquiring about where she’s been and when she’ll return.
“People miss her when she’s not here,” he said, explaining that she’s frequently sought out by those in need of a sympathetic ear. “A lot of people do talk to her. One gentlemen from the bar next door, he came out and talked to her for half-an-hour, once.”
Rhoten said Trixie will be back to work within the next week, returning to show off her glammed-up new look. Rhoten said it’s only the second time she’s left the booth in her 18 years with the Sebastiani Theatre.
“One time, she had a date with the Sonoma Police Department dummy,” he said. “They went for a drive for a photo shoot.”