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Theater

`Sweet' antidote to `Sixteen'

A stint as Charity Hope Valentine may just help Molly Ringwald put the Brat Pack behind her.

October 08, 2006|Greg Braxton | Times Staff Writer

Others were less generous. Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle praised Ringwald's comic timing, but added that Ringwald "lacks charisma" and that her dancing "ranges from mediocre to embarrassing."

The timing of Ringwald's "Sweet Charity" stint is a bit bittersweet. The tour arrives during a mini-revival of Molly mania, sparked by the release of new editions of her most well-known films. The new DVD version of "Pretty in Pink" even has a featurette, "All About Molly." In every interview, "The Breakfast Club" and her other films come up.

Though her movies may still be big, Ringwald's place in the glaring spotlight has gotten smaller.

The whirlwind of the Brat Pack era was followed by more grown-up roles in less successful films, such as "Betsy's Wedding," "The Pick-up Artist" and "Fresh Horses." In 1992, she decided to leave Hollywood behind and move to Paris. While there, she made several films, including "Seven Sundays" and "Enfants de Salaud," which she performed entirely in French.

"I needed to get away," she says. "Once I was there, I was so happy and inspired by everything. Not having a fan base there was very refreshing. But I kept working, so I was always coming back to America to work."

She was married briefly while living in Paris, but moved back to New York after her divorce. Today she resides there with her boyfriend and their daughter. And visitors expecting to watch "Pretty in Pink" at her place will have to bring their own copy -- and something to watch it on.

"I don't have any of that stuff, any of my press. I don't have any of my films. We don't even have a TV -- our apartment is too small for that," she says. "As far as the films, I've seen them; I don't need to have them. I want to keep my environment as normal as possible. And my mom's a master archivist. She has everything, so I don't have to."

But unlike former cast mates such as Emilio Estevez, who she says refuses to mention or even acknowledge the Brat Pack days, Ringwald has learned to grudgingly embrace the movies.

"I have to accept the fact that these films have had a fantastic effect on people, and to deny that doesn't make any sense until I do something that has the same cultural and social impact of those movies," she says. "That's just the way it is."

After the "Sweet Charity" tour ends next summer, Ringwald has no immediate plans to perform. She would like to devote more time to writing -- in recent years she's penned some celebrity profiles and articles on artists she admires. "I also would really like to have another child," she says.

And down the line, there could be an autobiography that could serve as her final word on "those movies."

"Maybe I'll do it one day," she says. "But I want to get a little more distance first."

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greg.braxton@latimes.com

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'Sweet Charity'

Where: Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood

When: 8 p.m. TuesdaysFridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays. Call for exceptions

Ends: 6 p.m. Oct. 22

Price: $25 to $70

Contact: (213) 365-3500

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