On Golden Pond Reviewed
By Amy Somensky Apr 8, 2005, 14:21 GMT
Norman and Ethel Thayer are spending what may be their last summer on their beloved Golden Lake. Norman is becoming increasingly forgetful and suffers from heart palpitations. They have spent 48 summers growing old together and raising their daughter, Chelsea, on the lake.
Norman, the sharp-tongued “old poop” has been estranged from Chelsea for years. His spirited wife Ethel invites Chelsea to visit. She agrees and brings her new boyfriend and his thirteen-year-old son. The once serene atmosphere of Golden Pond becomes bitter and tense as the family tries to come to terms with old grudges and bitter feelings before it is too late.
Leslie Uggams and James Earl Jones
Uggams is a nice counterpart to Jones. Whereas Norman is very cynical and negative, Ethel is always bright, cheery, and welcoming when she is talking about the birds or her childhood doll, but when needed she can change very quickly to a serious straight-forward woman. When she confronts her daughter about calling Norman a “son of a bitch,” which he can be, she slams her hand on the table and says, “That son of bitch is my husband.” You could hear a pin drop in the theater.
Joining Jones and Uggams are Linda Powell as Chelsea, Peter Francis James as Bill, Craig Brockhorn as Charlie Martin the mailman, and Alexander Mitchell as Billy Ray. All of them do a nice job. Linda Powell comes into her stride in the second act and the scenes with Jones and young Alexander Mitchell are very funny.
Ray Klausen’s scenic design is very convincing as the interior of an old cottage with dust and all, and the lighting applied by Brian Nason nicely simulated the look of the moon shining on a lake.
Some problems are not fixed in one weekend
While the material in On Golden Pond is lightweight, James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams due their best with what they are given. The comedy in the play is first rate and very entertaining, but the comedy plays too big of a part in a story that has the potential to be so much more than a serious of jokes.
On Golden Pond is playing now at The Cort Theater. For On Golden Pond tickets visit ticketsnow.com.