Guest Reviewer: Rick Busciglio, March 3, 2017
The Chester Theatre Group is presenting The Trip to Bountiful this weekend through Sunday, March 12th. Do you need a reason to go? Two words (ok, one name): Terri Sturtevant. How good is she? Terri has already won three Perry Awards! Her sensitive performance as Carrie Watts, the old lady who wants to flee her drab life in Houston and see her childhood home one last time, is an absolute marvel. Talk about a master class in acting.
Supporting Terri is another truly outstanding lady of our theater community, Barbara Haag (left, in top photo). We last saw (and heard) her in the Light Opera of New Jersey’s fine production of A Little Night Music. Barbara stopped the show with Send in the Clowns. CTG regulars will remember her superb performance in Grey Gardens.In The Trip to Bountiful, she plays the daughter-in-law from hell, Jessie Mae. The ladies share a modest two room flat in 1940’s Houston, Texas. Refereeing their tense relationship is Carrie’s seriously hen-pecked son Ludie, nicely played by Michael Harvey (top photo).
Director Kevern Cameron has provided us with a first-rate production, the equal of many Obie contenders across the Hudson.
Rounding out the fine, spot-on cast is Jacki Jacobi as Thelma, Carrie’s kind fellow bus passenger (photo below- seated right); Matt Cotton as Roy the sympathetic Harrison bus station attendant (L-R: Christopher C. Gibbs and Stephen Catron. The lead extras are Amie Quivey, Nancy Culton and Bob Sackstein.
Performances are Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Tickets are $20.00 with a discounted price of $18.00 for seniors over 65 and students under 18. Tickets may be purchased online at www.chestertheatregroup.org.
The playwright Horton Foote has had over fifty of his plays produced, and is perhaps best known for his screenplays for the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird and the 1983 film Tender Mercies. He received two Academy Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1995 for his play The Young Man From Atlanta. The Trip to Bountiful started out as television play with Lillian Gish, has been produced on Broadway twice, and was made into a movie with Geraldine Page. In the most recent Broadway production, Cicely Tyson received the Tony Award for her role a Carrie.
Two more words: GO SEE
Production credits include: Roxanna Wagner producer; Diane Butler stage manager; Jeff Knapp sound design; Ellen Fraker-Glasscock lighting design; Kevern Cameron & Stephen Catron set design; Cathy Braithwaite props; Martha Riley assistant stage manager; Fran Harrison costumes; Bob Longstreet light & sound operation;
The Chester Theatre Group performs in The Black River Playhouse, an intimate, 100-seat theater in the heart of Chester Borough’s historic district. The venue’s in-the-round format ensures that every seat offers an engaging, memorable experience for each audience member.
The theater is located on the corner of Grove Street and Maple Avenue. For more information, visit the CTG website at http://www.chestertheatregroup.org.
Top Photo: Barbara Haag, Michael Harvey and Terri Sturtevant (photo by Steve Catron)