(Alexandria, MN)  Most people have heard of the 1981 movie "On Golden Pond" featuring Henry and Jane Fonda, along with Katharine Hepburn; however, that film was based off of this 1979 play written by Ernest Thompson.  The theatre production is a heartwarming drama that centers around an aging couple, cantankerous retiree Norman Thayer (played by Chuck Grussing) and his peacemaking wife Ethel (Miriam Thornquist), who spend summers at their vacation home on the shores of idyllic Golden Pond.  Set in rural Maine the couple is continuing their long-held tradition once again as Norman celebrates his 80th birthday complete with heart palpitations and a failing memory.  In addition to all that this year their adult daughter, Chelsea (Robin Lin Ryding), visits with her new fiancé (Adam Hunter) and his teenage son, Billy (Jayme O'Brien), on their way to Europe. Billy is not at all excited about the arrangement but slowly warms up to and begins to bond with Norman. When Chelsea returns we learn there has been a rift in her relationship with Norman. She works to repair the long-strained relationship with her aging father before it's too late.

The show is directed by Donna Magnuson.  She describes the plot during her visit to KXRA's Openline program (AUDIO BELOW):

This cast has brought that love story of life for you to enjoy and maybe remember a simpler time in all of our lives.  Among them is Chuck Grussing, who describes what it's like to portray the aging Norman.  He also appeared on the April 16th Openline program and has high praise for the director. (AUDIO BELOW)

I normally try to keep my own personal opinion out of the description of the show, but in this case I just have to say something.  Chuck's portrayal of Norman is not only convincing, it will have you mad at him, happy for him, amused by him and wishing good will on him throughout the show.  The balance of characters and moments is such a blessing.  If you see one production this year, I would recommend seeing this one.  Miriam, Robin, Kip, Adam and young Jayme all do such a good job of bringing you into the story.  At times I almost forgot that I was watching a play and that, in my mind, is what any good production aims to accomplish.

SHOWTIMES/TICKETS:

The show runs April 23, 24, 30, May 1 at 7:30pm and during the Sunday matinee on April 25 and May 2nd at 2:00pm.  To order tickets, go online to the Andria Theatre's website or call the box office at (320) 762-8300.

(ANDRIA THEATRE IS AT 50 PERCENT CAPACITY. PLEASE CALL THE BOX OFFICE FOR GROUPS 4 OR LARGER TO GET THE BEST SEATS, 320-762-8300.)  Learn how the Andria Theatre is working to keep you safe during your visit to the theatre, click HERE.

CAST

Norman Thayer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Chuck Grussing

Ethel Thayer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Miriam Thornquist

Chelsea Thayer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robin Lin Ryding

Charlie Martin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kip Sundlee

Bill Ray. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Adam Hunter

Billy Ray. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jayme O'Brien

Operator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Leah Drexler 


Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Donna Magnuson

AD/ Stage manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . Leah Drexler

Make up/ Hair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Maryn Cabinaw

Costume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .KD Tomoson

Set Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . Regan Peterson

Props/set design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Holly Wallerich

Sound design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Greg Raether

Sound Technician . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bryce Galle

Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Maryn Cabinaw

Set Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Quincy Roers