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On Golden Pond

a Comedy/Drama
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA
by Ernest Thompson

COMPANY : Centerstage North Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The Art Place - Mountain View
ID# 5315

SHOWING : August 10, 2018 - August 18, 2018

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Cantankerous retiree Norman Thayer (Jim Wilgus) and his conciliatory wife, Ethel (Cheryl Baer), spend summers at their New England vacation home on the shores of idyllic Golden Pond. This year, their adult daughter, Chelsea (Shannon Lindsay), visits with her new fiancée (Kevin Renshaw) and his teenage son, Billy (Kirk Renshaw) on their way to Europe. After leaving Billy behind to bond with Norman, Chelsea returns, attempting to repair the long-strained relationship with her aging father before it’s too late. The show also features their jovial mailman, Charlie (Philippe McCanham).


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Karen Worrall
Sound Design Brenda Orchard
Stage Manager Ann Patterson
Assistant Stage Manager Dave Patterson
Lighting Design David Reingold
Set Design Steve Worrall
Ethel Cheryl Baer
Chelsea Shannon Lindsay
Charley Philippe McCanham
Bill Kevin Renshaw
Billy Kirk Renshaw
Norman Jim Wilgus
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REVIEWS

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Southern Waterways
by playgoer
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
3.0
Ernest Thompson’s "On Golden Pond" is a perennial community theatre favorite, with a storyline combining equal amounts of comedy and heart and with a cast featuring two meaty roles for thespians of a certain age. Centerstage North’s production puts the nearly-foolproof script on its feet and sets it doddering along to a satisfying conclusion.

Steve Worrall’s set design features a screen upstage fronted by a walkway representing a porch and three separate room segments. The fireplace is the feature of the stage right segment; a bookcase is the feature of the stage left one. Up center is the door unit, with an unhinged screen door that miraculously gets fixed during the act break. David Reingold’s lighting design occasionally plays colors on the upstage screen, adding to the atmospheric effects the lighting ably produces. Brenda Orchard’s sound design consists primarily of loon sounds, phone rings, offstage motor sounds, and scene-setting music. Like the lighting, it works well and blends in beautifully with the entire production. This is an attractive physical production.

All roles are filled with competence by the cast, although Jim Wilgus had frequent line hiccups as Norman at the performance I attended. Cheryl Baer’s pleasant perkiness as Ethel contrasts nicely with Mr. Wilgus’ stodginess as her husband. Philippe McCanham invests mailman Charlie with lots of personality, as does Kirk Renshaw as teenager Billy Ray. Shannon Lindsay makes for a heartfelt Chelsea, Norman and Ethel’s daughter, and Kevin Renshaw is pitch-perfect as Chelsea’s intended, Bill Ray.

Karen Worrall has directed the show to get the story across, but the pace often seems slow. It all seems pretty straightforward, without the special directorial touches that can make a production truly memorable. This "On Golden Pond" is a perfectly acceptable offering, but doesn’t truly catch fire to become the thoroughly entertaining production for which the script provides the basis. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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