On Golden Pond, is a “a production any theater-lover will want to see”, says Peter Heck in his review. The classic play from Ernest Thompson, brings a glow to the Church Hill Theatre this spring. Bonnie Hill directs this “warm, nostalgic play” that is an exploration of marriage, mortality, and cross-generational relationships. The play, written by Ernest Thompson, was a critical success on the New York stage and a blockbuster hit in the film adaptation. Hill has assembled a fine cast of area residents, including both newcomers and experienced actors with credits at CHT and other theaters.
On Golden Pond is as simple—and complex—as life itself. Norman Thayer, a sharp-witted and tart-tongued professor, along with his intelligent and nurturing wife Ethel, return to their summer home in Maine for the 48th year. Brian McGunigle takes on the role of Norman, making him “sympathetic” and also bringing out his “biting wit”. Nita Wieczoreck is “warm and outgoing in the role of Ethel, a good choice for the role” according to Heck. The couple are soon joined by their daughter, her boyfriend, and his son. These roles are taken on by Heather Oland as Chelsea Thayer Wayne, Jeff Daly as Bill Ray, and John Crook as Billy Ray, Jr. Charlie, the local postman and a family friend, is played by Paul Briggs. Oland’s performance stands out, and although the role is not as central as that of her parents, Heck states that it is a, “strong performance [that] makes the emotional connections [amongst the family] clear”. John Crook in the role of Billy Ray, a veteran of CHT’s Green Room Gang summer theater camp “captures the young boy’s varying moods…in a solid performance”.
In his review, Peter Heck made particular note of the “appealing” set designed by Earl Lewin, with construction undertaken by Carmen Grasso and Tom Rhodes. Lighting and sound are designed and operated by Doug Kaufmann and Patrick Fee respectively. Meg Lenher and Cynthia Fields assembled the props, while Nita Wiezcoreck takes on double duty procuring costumes as well as acting. Assisting the director is Kathy Jones, Liz Clarke produces, and Steve Atkinson is the stage manager.
On Golden Pond continues at Church Hill Theatre through April 22, with weekend performances at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 pm on Sundays. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for members, and $10 for students. Special pricing is available for groups of ten or more. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at 410-556-6003 or online at www.churchhilltheatre.org