Carrie (Gwen Van Dam) is a lonely and single-minded older woman desperate to return home to the town where she grew up. She feels imprisoned in the Houston apartment she shares with her weak and passive son Ludie (Kent Butler), and Ludie’s wife, the selfish and bossy Jessie Mae (Gina Yates). Jessie Mae depends on Carrie’s pension to finance her trips to the beauty parlor and balance the family budget, and she is shrewish in her demands upon Carrie and Ludie. Carrie’s relentless determination leads her to plan to run away and return to Bountiful to gain some peace from the stressful life she leads.
All of the talented actors give outstanding performances and pay attention to the detail of each character. Gwen Van Dam brings a beautiful childlike quality to this unwavering character. Gina Yates is terrific and wonderfully cast as Jessie Mae and Kent Butler brings the true qualities as Ludie to this role. Liza de Weerd as Thelma is sensitive and charming, Stan Mazin and Bert Emmett as Ticket Agents, Henry Holden as Roy, and Patrick Skelton as the Sheriff bring quality to their roles.
Direction by Larry Eisenberg is superb and draws each character to its full potential. Mark Macauley’s Scenic Design is fantastic with complete scene changes transforming the stage from the Houston apartment, to the Train/Bus Station and then to Bountiful. Beautifully done, everyone. All the cast and crew deserve a round of applause. Lighting, Sound, Costume Design, Stage Management are exceptional.
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL is a play not to be missed and an exceptional inaugural to The Group Rep’s 37th season. It is an impressive source of nostalgia for our eyes and ears. What a wonderful way to start 2011. Come and enjoy.
Cast: Kent Butler, Liza de Weerd, Bert Emmett, Henry Holden, Stan Mazin, Patrick Skelton, Gwen Van Dam, and Gina Yates
Director: Larry Eisenberg
Producer: Sherry Netherland
Assistant Director: Drina Durazo
Scenic Design: Mark Macauley
Lighting Design: Jazmin Lopez
Sound Design: Steve Shaw
Costume Design & Coordination: Cheryl Butler
Stage Manager: Disraeli Ellison
Property Mistress: Jennifer Ross
Public Relations: Nora Feldman
Graphic Design: Doug Haverty
The Group Repertory Theatre
10900 Burbank Boulevard
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Performances: January 28, 2011 – March 6, 2011 (Dark: February 4th)
Plays: Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm
Reservations: www.thegrouprep.com or (818) 700-4878
Tickets: $15 - $22