VERO BEACH — Following on the heels of its highly successful November musical, the Vero Beach Theatre Guild will offer as its third production of the 2010-11 season in January. The funny, dramatic and heart-warming play On Golden Pond, with performances scheduled from Thursday, January 13 through Sunday, January 23. The plot centers on cantankerous retired Professor Norman Thayer who, as he turns 80 years old, becomes even crankier. His attitude creates a strain on his supportive and loving wife, Ethel, as the elderly couple spends their 48th summer vacationing at their lakeside cabin in Maine.
Norman is surprised by a visit from his estranged daughter, Chelsea, who is afraid this may be her father’s last birthday. With her are her fiancé, Bill, and his sassy 13-year-old son, Billy Ray. This unexpected event adds fuel to Norman’s already hostile attitude.
Ethel, a high-spirited woman, attempts to balance the uneasiness of the situation, especially the hostility that has existed between father and daughter for so many years. Surprisingly, the least one expected to resolve problems becomes the hero when, despite Norman’s initial protests, Ethel uses her charms to get him to agree to watch Billy Ray while Chelsea and Bill take a trip to Europe.
Getting to know each other through their daily adventures allows both arrogant Norman and impudent Billy Ray to open their hearts to people and life for who and what they are, not what they wish them to be. The story deals with the twilight years, the turbulent relationship between a father and daughter, and the blending of minds that lead to a reconciliation.
Written by Ernest Thompson, the actor/playwright adapted it for the screen in 1981. The movie, starring Katharine Hepburn and Henry and Jane Fonda, won three Academy Awards.
Cast as Norman is John Houx. Margaret Frazer will portray Ethel. Chelsea is played by Colleen Brennan; Bill, Ben Earman; Billy Ray, K.J. (Kem) Johnson; mailman Charlie, Frank Kaplan; and the phone operator, Lisa Carmichael.
Director is newcomer Julia Glattfelt. Board member Larry Thompson is the producer. Serving as stage manager is Lisa Carmichael. Set designer is Jerry Glattfelt.
Heading the production department is Denise Lee; costume design, Ann McCabe; properties, Anne Talbot; lighting, Robbie Messersmith; and sound, Ed Dessureau.
Sponsoring the production is the Lakes at Pointe West.
Nine performances are scheduled with three time zones available to patrons:
7 p.m., Jan. 13, 19, 20
8 p.m., Jan. 14, 15, 21
2 p.m., Jan. 16, 22, 23
Other upcoming shows include the musical Annie from March 10-27, and the comedy Leading Ladies from May 12-22.
The Guild is a live community theatre at 2020 San Juan Ave. Tickets are $22 (A section) and $20 (B section). Youth ages 18 and under are half-price.
Tickets are available at the Box Office, (772) 562-8300 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays. Tickets may also be purchased on-line at www.verobeachtheatreguild.com.
Note: Youth and wheelchair/companion seats are not available on-line and must be purchased through the Box Office.