Loretta Joins Pat And Joe

The fun thing about a behind-the-scenes interview with the two TV personalities is that they’re almost like brothers, finishing sentences for each other and poking good-natured jokes at each other.


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For their latest collaboration, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, old pals Joe Moore and Pat Sajak reached out to Hawaii's Broadway star Loretta Ables Sayre, and gave her an expanded role in this stage adaption of a film. It opens June 19 at Hawaii Theatre. Photo by Nathalie Walker

For anyone who is starting to wonder where Ernest Hemingway features in this production, “My character Frank says to Walter that I once wrestled Ernest Hemingway,” says Moore. “Pat and I don’t play two characters where one plays Hemingway and the other one wrestles him.”

“That could be our next project,” pipes in Sajak.

“Or if things really go bad during the performance, we may just do that,” counters Moore.

“I’m not sure we’ve grown up at all since Saigon,” laughs Sajak.

Meanwhile, Sajak, who calls Maryland home when he’s not shooting Wheel of Fortune in Los Angeles, was just on Hawaii island last month filming exterior shots for upcoming episodes of the show, which will film on location in September. As for Moore, he turned down an offer to portray a local newscaster in Godzilla, as he prefers the process of being on stage.

With professional local acting opportunities hard to come by, Mililani resident Sayre is always on the go, whether on the Mainland or in Europe.

“The great part is, I get to come back home to Hawaii,” she says. “I’ve been fortunate to travel all over the world, and there is nothing like flying home and seeing Oahu as the plane banks and your heart races, and you want to yell out loud, ‘I live there!'”

Once home, Sayre takes on nightclub gigs and concerts to spend time with her musician friends, but mostly she cherishes family time with husband David and pooch Kaimana, as well as all those things that are such a reprieve from the exciting hustle and bustle of the city — like cooking, yard work and climbing into her own bed.

Sayre’s latest projects include a movie with fellow locally based actor Henry Ian Cusick, dress, which played at Hawaii Theatre as part of Hawaii International Film Festival last year. Sayre also can be seen on a series of First Hawaiian Bank commercials currently airing. In addition to some upcoming projects on the Mainland, Sayre shares some particularly exciting news. Hawaii audiences will get to revel in her Bloody Mary role in Diamond Head Theatre’s production of South Pacific. Sayre will co-direct with theater artistic director John Rampage, who has been courting Sayre for the role since 2008. For DHT’s 100th anniversary next year, Sayre said yes.

For now, “I am looking forward to this production of Wrestling Ernest Hemingway and working on the stage with this wonderful cast,” says Sayre. The handpicked cast includes local talent Eden Lee Murray and Therese Olival, respectively, in the MacLaine and Bullock roles. Burton White, who was stage manager all those years ago when Sayre was in Dreamgirls, is now at the helm of the theater as artistic director and general manager.

“Its a lovely homecoming,” says Sayre, adding, “I have to admit, when you walk on Hawaii Theatre stage to perform, you feel like you are a part of something very special.

“And I’ve never had a chance to work with Joe, but I feel like I know Joe and Pat well because they’ve both been in my living room every night for years!”

Catch Sayre, Moore and Sajak onstage June 19-29. Tickets cost $32-$72, with discounts for theater members, large groups, youths, seniors, students and military.

Call 528-0506 or visit for more information.