Two Classic Actors In A Classic Play As The Black Rep Presents “On Golden Pond”

The 2012 season of the Black Rep opens with the bittersweet comedy, “On Golden Pond” and we’re treated to two of the best actors in St. Louis playing the unforgettable couple, Ron Himes and Linda Kennedy. This lovely valentine comes a month early, but we’ll take it.

Ron Himes and Linda Kennedy star in the Black Rep's "On Golden Pond." photo credit: Stewart Goldstein

The gorgeous Jim Burwinkel set gets us in the mood right away- depicting the lovely, quaint summer cottage of Norman and Ethel Thayer in Maine. With roof beams reaching into the audience and a strong sense of detail, it’s a masterpiece in and of itself. Fortunately, we also have these two marvelous actors to flesh out the story. Ron Himes is the Artistic Director of the Black Rep and it’s always a treat when we get to see him on stage as well. He gives the cantankerous Norman heart and humor. And Linda Kennedy simply shines as the ever-loving and understanding wife.

Kathi Bently is solid as the Thayer’s daughter who has had a life time of trying to live up to what she thinks her father needs her to be. Chauncy Thomas is strong as her boyfriend who comes with a certain amount of baggage in the form of his son, Billy Ray, Jr. The street-smart kid is given a great performance by youngster Chris Cross. And rounding out the cast is Aaron Baker, the mailman who has long had a crush on the young daughter. His aggravating laugh soon turns into a wonderful character trait that simply adds to the charm of “On Golden Pond.”

Ron Himes and Chris Cross in the Black Rep's "On Golden Pond." photo credit: Stewart Goldstein

Director Lorna Littleway has squeezed every bit of nostalgia out of this play and, though often slow, it sparkles with the vibrancy of life and life re-newed as Norman recaptures the youth that somehow escaped him with his daughter as he bonds with young Billy Ray. It’s quite a nice little escape and a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours with people you really grow to like.

“On Golden Pond,” the Ernest Thompson salute to growing old gracefully, plays at the Black Rep at the Grandel Square Theatre through February 5th. Give them a call at 314-534-3810 or visit http://www.theblackrep.org for more information.

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