‘On Golden Pond’ heartwarming

Kimberly Nicoletti
summit daily news

It’s hard to go wrong with actors Bob and Wendy Moore playing a married couple. Their real-life partnership and shared love for theater translates into a heartwarming, genuine performance of “On Golden Pond.”

The Breckenridge Theatre presents the play’s sense of place well as it transforms into a cozy cabin, complete with stone fireplace, kitchen table and a homey living room. Sitting in front of this scene, it’s almost as if you’re a part of the family, feeling Norman’s (Bob Moore) struggle with his memory and heart palpitations as he reaches his 80th birthday, and experiencing the bubbling tension when his daughter Chelsea (played convincingly by Kelly Butler) visits him for the first time in eight years.

The story alternates between tension and sweet, touching moments. Of course, director Christopher Willard adds a charming secondary character with Charlie, the mailman (who has a wonderful Forrest Gump quality). As such, the Backstage Theatre presents a story about how aging can affect your heart in a profound way.

Humorous and light-hearted dialogue flows to and from drama between Chelsea and Norman, allowing viewers to feel the pain and compassion within the uneasy father-daughter relationship without becoming too weighed down. The scenes unfold naturally, as if the audience just happened to show up at the couple’s Maine cottage, watching confrontations and celebrations.

Gary Green does an excellent job portraying Chelsea’s nervous-yet-direct, middle-aged boyfriend; as he broaches the subject of sleeping in the same bed with Chelsea, the fallout is both entertaining and satisfying. Likewise, Liam Kilgore depicts his 13-year-old character superbly, swinging from sullen, shoulder-sunken to spirited and friendly.

The crux of the story brings up a universal question about how long is long enough to carry a grudge, and the Backstage actors deliver the poignant theme with finesse.

“On Golden Pond” runs Thursdays through Saturdays until Feb. 19. This Saturday, the Champagne Evening is $30 for adults and $24 for folks age 18 and younger. Other nights, tickets range from $12-20. Visit for more information.

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