Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Cast Set to Sail On Golden Pond Tour
More than a year has passed since the Tony-nominated revival of On Golden Pond closed -- although it had only attracted a meager audience, its numbers dropped precipitously after its star James Earl Jones was befallen by illness. Now, as promised, a touring company will take the Broadway show out on the road, albeit with a decidedly different cast. The tour begins in earnest August 22 at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota and is currently scheduled to run through next March.
Two of television's all-time favorite "parents" -- Tom Bosley of "Happy Days" and Michael Learned of "The Waltons" -- are set to portray Norman and Ethel Thayer. Additional casting includes Kate Levy as Chelsea, Evan Pappas as Billy Ray, Craig Bockhorn -- recreating his Broadway role -- as Charlie Martion, and Shadoe Brandt as Billy.
While Learned is perhaps best known for her TV role as Olivia Walton, I've had two opportunities to see her shine on the stage. First, I saw her in the excellent 2000 Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man when she played the wife of the late Spalding Gray's Secretary William Russell, and then again last year is Lee Blessing's compelling A Body of Water opposite Edward Herrmann. Learned's presence alone could make this touring production worth seeing.
But I'm also excited by the prospect of once again enjoying a performance by Pappas, who first delighted me in the very short-lived Broadway musical version of My Favorite Year back in 1993. I also saw him in 2002 in a great adaptation The Canterbury Tales at Minneapolis' Guthrie Theater. He's a terrific addition to an already fine cast.
On Golden Pond tour stops currently include:
St. Paul, MN -- August 22-September 2, 2006 (Main Hall, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts)
San Antonio, TX -- September 12-17, 2006 (Majestic Theatre)
Nashville, TN -- September 19-24, 2006 (Andrew Jackson Hall, Tennesse Performing Arts Center)
Philadelphia, PA -- October 31-November 5, 2006 (Merriam Theater)
Birmingham, AL -- November 28-December 3, 2006 (BJCC-Concert Hall)
Tampa, FL December 5-10, 2006 (Carol Morsani Hall, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center)
Salt Lake City, UT -- January 16-21, 2007 (Kingsbury Hall)
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
Click here for On Golden Pond ticketing for St. Paul.