By Kaytlyn Parker
Lake Wales Little Theatre delivers a heartwarming rendition of On Golden Pond for audiences each weekend from November 3, 2023 to November 19, 2023. Get your tickets and check showtimes here: https://www.lwlt.org/shows.
On Golden Pond was originally written for the stage in 1979 by writer Ernest Thompson, who then wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award Winning 1981 film starring Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda. For the play here at Lake Wales Theatre, there is a group of the theater’s very own star-studded cast that brings Thompson’s words to life on the stage. Larry Helm and Dorinda Morrison-Garrard play the characters we get to know the most throughout the show; Norman Thayer Jr. and Ethel Thayer. Helm and Garrard have phenomenal banter and chemistry on stage. Garrard’s performance rivals that of Katharine Hepburn– every line is delivered with such poise and articulated in such a way that Katherine Hepburn herself would approve.
Helm gives us the dry, sarcastic humor of Norman hilariously, breaking the otherwise serious mood on stage. You can tell that, despite his dry-natured humor, Norman has a deep love for his long-time wife Ethel. Despite his humor, or lack thereof depending on how you look at it, Norman is worried about his mind which seems to be going slowly due to his age. Larry will be directing Every Little Crook and Nanny at Lake Wales Little Theatre. The show will run from April 12th, 2024 to April 28th, 2024.
Elijah Lewis joins us for his first show on the stage as Charlie Martin. He steals the stage effortlessly with the loud and boisterous laugh– a very important asset for Charlie. Lewis commands each scene he is in with his presence, you simply cannot wait to hear his next line.
Maddison Glockner plays Jane Fonda’s character, Chelsea Thayer Wayne, the somewhat estranged and preserved daughter of Norman and Ethel. The moment Norman and Chelsea are together in the room, you can feel the tension, the hard feelings, the dislike between the two. Glockner is able to capture the deep uncomfortableness Chelsea feels toward her father in just a few short scenes. You can see more of Maddison on stage as Natalie Haller in a production of All Shook Up presented by Theatre Winter Haven from January 18th, 2024 to February 4, 2024.
Veteran actor Nicholas J. Bique returns to the stage for the part of Dr. Bill Ray, the nervous dentist who is pretty sure he met a bear on the way into the Thayer vacation home. Though such a small part, Bique shows us a transformation with Bill– from anxious to stern and unyielding. Nicholas will be directing the next show for Lake Wales Little Theatre: Bed, Breakfast and Broadway. The show will run from January 13th, 2024 to January 29th, 2024.
Another newcomer is presented on stage: Roman Shano! While Shano was a zombie extra in the teen summer play Not Your Average Zombie Apocalypse, On Golden Pond is his first big role. Dr. Bill Ray’s son, Billy Ray Jr., is a precocious 16 year old boy who is forced to spend the summer with his potential grandparents. When we first meet young Billy, he is a boy that has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s hanging out with his dad and his dad’s new girlfriend, whisked away from his mother to a different rate of speed. By the end of the play, Billy and Norman are two peas in a pod and Billy has transformed into a spritely boy that loves to fish despite his Los Angeles upbringing. Shano brings Billy to life on stage and it is quite a treat to see the young actor so committed to his role.
This cast from On Golden Pond come together to create a heartwarming and love-filled journey about the test of time, relationships, and forgiveness. To see more on the Lake Wales Little Theatre stage, keep an eye out for Bed, Breakfast and Broadway which will premiere on January 13th, 2024 and run through January 29th, 2024. Follow the theater on Facebook for more updates.