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On Golden Pond Play

Opening tonight for a month’s run is the beloved play “On Golden Pond,” something most of us remember as the movie with Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda (released in1981, it outsold every other film that summer, except “Raiders of the Lost Ark”).

But here in this play Foothill Theatre Company has pulled out all the stops by bringing its creator, Ernest Thompson to town on Monday; more about that later.

Director Lynne Collins in her director notes really put her finger on the meaning of the play, which although they will be in the program are so good I wanted to run them here.



“At first glance, this play tells a charming, funny tale of an aging couple’s summer of banter, disagreement and fishing on a beautiful lake in Maine, but there’s a lot more going on here. As Thompson says in the introduction to the 2006 edition of the play, this is a family that “struggles with what we all struggle with-age, rage, regret, love withheld, love unspoken, disappointment and ultimately, if we’re lucky, forgiveness, acceptance and renewal.

“What Thompson does is what many people do to survive in families – he hides real pain in laughter, he lets anger express itself in the small annoyances of life, rather than risking an explosion. When, occasionally and painfully, real hurts and fears are expressed, he shows us people like us, people who come to understand that the only thing harder than loving our families is not loving them.”




Wow. Now doesn’t that make you want to be in the audience?

As the playwright himself says, “We’ve all had complicated relationships with our parents or children or spouses. And if we’re smart, we’ve had our sense of humor to get us through. I think that’s what’s meant by universal.”

You’ll probably want to meet this remarkable man, who wrote the play when he was only 28. The Oscar-winning Ernest Thompson will be sharing film clips and lively anecdotes from his fascinating 40-year career in professional theater and film: 7-9 p.m. on Monday (Sept. 29) at The Nevada Theatre. It’s also a fundraiser for FTC. Tickets for $35-$50 includes a reception that follows.


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