“On Golden Pond,” the Hepburn and Fonda beloved classic, will kick off the Cutler Brother’s 2016 summer theatre season on Friday, April 29th in Deer Lodge. The stage version of this well-known story was written by Ernest Thompson and opened its first Broadway production on February 28th, 1979 at the New Apollo Theatre. It won several Drama Desk Awards as well as a Tony in the category of Best Actress.
“On Golden Pond” follows Ethel and Norman Thayer Jr., an elderly couple who insist they are “middle-aged,” at their rustic summer cabin on Golden Pond. The sarcastic and quick-witted duo have been married for 48 years and their exploits are like clockwork. When the Thayer’s favorite postal worker Charlie comes to their doorstep by boat they are overjoyed to reunite. Charlie’s cheery and nervous personality quickly erodes to melancholy nature when he hears the news that the Thayer’s forty two year old daughter Chelsea is engaged to her new boyfriend Bill. Chelsea has been Charlie’s crush since they were in middle school.
The adventures at Golden Pond continue when Chelsea and Bill show up and reveal that they brought a guest with them; Bill’s smart-mouthed, “midget” son Billy Ray. When Chelsea asks her elderly parents if they will watch the rebel 13-year old for a month, Norman is understandably reserved. Despite the initial reaction from Norman, the incongruent couple become good friends and even better fishing buddies.
“On Golden Pond” is a sentimental roller coaster throughout. Embedded in the Thayer sarcasm are the deep sub plots of a daughter beckoning her father’s approval and a 79-year old man that feels useless through his own self-pity. Kyle Gillette, a recognizable face to the Deer Lodge stage, plays Norman Thayer Jr. while Cutler Bros. rookie Sally Bridgham takes on the demanding role of Ethel. Rounding out the cast are Deer Lodge favorites Jenn Logan as Chelsea, Jim Tilley as Bill, and Stuart Jewell as Charlie. Dane Thompson, an 8th grader at EF Duvall in Deer Lodge, will show his cool side as Billy Ray.
Cutler Brothers Productions will present “On Golden Pond” Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm, April 29th – May 8th. Tickets are $15-$20 and reservations are recommended, especially on the Mother’s Day performance. Reservations may be made by calling the Box Office at (406) 846-4096 or at cutlerbros.com.