BY GEORGINA CASAZZA
NYACK – The Elmwood Playhouse concluded their 69th season with the production of “On Golden Pond,” written by Ernest Thompson and directed by Candy Pittari, making her directorial debut at the small Nyack theater.
The lighthearted story takes us on a journey with Norman and Ethel Thayer, who are spending their 48th summer at their small cabin in Maine. Norman, played by Ralph Bowers of Stony Point, is sharp and cynical, but feeling the test of time upon him as he approaches his 80th birthday. His wife, Ethel, played by Sondra Rosoff of South Nyack, is sweet and welcoming, but is having a hard time realizing her husband is no longer the young, adventurous fisherman he once was.
Their tired summer changes when they receive a letter from their estranged daughter, Chelsea, played by Elizabeth Mayer of Orangeburg, who is coming to visit with her new fiancé, dentist Bill Ray, played by Rob Eisenson of Nyack, and his son, Billy Ray Jr., played by Matthew Quirk of West Nyack. Despite what Norman thinks, Ethel suggests they allow young Billy to spend the summer with them on Golden Pond while his father and future stepmother go on vacation to Europe.
“On Golden Pond” touches upon life in small town Maine, turbulent relationships between father and daughter, as well as generational gaps between the young and old.
The American classic is warm and witty, and brought light humor to the small theater’s audience. Norman and Billy’s relationship is kind and easy going, giving theater goers a strong sense of relatability to the show.
While at times the pace of the show is a bit slow, light in this calm cabin setting does come whenever we are graced with Charlie Martin, the local mailman, played by Kevin Cannon. His presence in each scene brings the humor and strong New England accent we all craved.
David Julin shined with his scenic design that was simple yet rustic. The Maine cabin set makes you feel as if you are inside the cozy home with the family. Surrounded by beautiful, scenic paintings of the pond by lobby artist, Ken Courtney, no space in the theatre is left untouched. This ambiance is aided with the help of lighting design by Mike Gnazzo.
“On Golden Pond” will play through August 15 at Elmwood Playhouse, located at 10 Park Street, Nyack. For tickets and more information visit elmwoodplayhouse.com.
Co-produced by Gail Fleur and Penny Buccafuri. Other crew: Allison Schneider, production stage manager; Sandy Stead, assistant to the director; Janet Fenton, costume design; Larry Wilbur, sound design; Crawford Deyo, technical director.