Good Theater is proud to open its seventh season with this timeless classic. On Golden Pond will star Broadway veteran Willi Burke, who is best known to Good Theater audiences for her lovely portrayal of Daisy Werthen in Driving Miss Daisy, and her real life husband, veteran actor Robert Morton Brooks. On Golden Pond is the touching story of Ethel and Norman Thayer who spend every summer on Golden Pond, and their only daughter Chelsea. Filled with great lines and touching scenes, this beautiful play will tug at your heart-strings and tickle your funny bone. On Golden Pond has been produced twice on Broadway and the film version received ten Academy Award nominations.
VETERAN STAGE COUPLE MAKE 'ON GOLDEN POND' SEEM REAL
The Maine Sunday Telegram By April Boyle 9/21/2008
The Good Theater in Portland has chosen the perfect play to mark the change of the seasons. The theater kicked off its seventh season with a charming production of Ernest Thompson's "On Golden Pond."
The idea came about when veteran Broadway actress Willi Burke was starring in Good Theater's fifth-season closer, "Driving Miss Daisy."
Burke and her husband, veteran actor Robert Morton Brooks, were so enchanted by the theater that Brooks made a surprising proposal to Good Theater's founders, Brian P. Allen and Stephen Underwood: He would come out of retirement for the opportunity to co-star with his wife in "On Golden Pond" at Good Theater.
Brooks and Burke truly are a treat. They met 37 years ago while performing in a production of "Cactus Flower" in Houston and married two years later. They pour their love for each other into their characters, Ethyl and Norman Thayer, giving "On Golden Pond" an absolute sense of realism.
They deliver the dialogue-intense piece with ease. Brooks never failed to elicit laughter with his dry-witted quips and curmudgeonly behavior.
Burke enthralled the audience with her vitality. Their performances were so believable that genuine concern crossed the faces of the audience during the final scene.
A stunningly detailed set and wonderful sound effects make it easy to forget that the theater isn't a cabin on Golden Pond.
Like the 1981 film, this rendition explores the family dynamics between Ethyl, Norman and their 42-year-old daughter, Chelsea (Kathleen Kimball), who has always felt inadequate in her father's eyes.
Chelsea reluctantly comes home for Norman's 80th birthday, bringing her fiance, Bill Ray (Paul Drinan), and his 13-year-old son, Billy (Dylan Chestnut). David Branch rounds out the cast as the mailman, Charlie, a Down East Mainer.
The supporting cast does a superb job bringing out their characters' emotions and quirks.
"On Golden Pond" is an endearing, intimate show that's sure to win hearts. It brims with honest feeling and charm. And, it's a rare chance to see Brooks and Burke together again on stage.
Directed by Brian P. Allen
Norman - Bob Brooks
Ethel - Willi Burke*
Chelsea - Kathleen Kimball
Bill Ray - Paul Drinan
Charley - David Branch
Billy - Dylan Chestnut
Set Design - Stephen Underwood
Lighting Design - Jamie Grant
Costumes - Brian P. Allen & Joan McMahon
Production Stage Manager - Joshua Hurd
Assistant Technical Director - Craig Robinson
Props - Denise Poirier
* Member Actors' Equity Association