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'On Golden Pond' at REP tonight

Touching love story will transcend all generations

Posted: March 11, 2010 4:55 p.m.
Updated: March 12, 2010 6:08 a.m.

Nancy B. Berggren and Michael Levine star in "On Golden Pond," which opens at the Repertory East Playhouse in Newhall tonight.

The Repertory East Playhouse continues its 2010 season with "On Golden Pond" by Ernest Thompson. "This is wonderful and touching story that truly transcends all generations. I am very excited to finally have a love story on our stage," said Artistic Director Ovington Michael Owston.

This is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the 48th year. He is a retired professor, nearing 80, with heart palpitations and a failing memory - but still as tart-tongued, observant and eager for life as ever. Ethel, ten years younger, and the perfect foil for Norman, delights in all the small things that have enriched and continue to enrich their long life together.

The couple is visited by their divorced, middle-aged daughter and her dentist fiancé, who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the "grandchild" the elderly couple have longed for, and as Norman revels in taking his ward fishing and thrusting good books at him, he also learns some lessons about modern teenage awareness.

In the end, as the summer wanes, so does their brief idyll, and in the final, deeply moving moments of the play, Norman and Ethel are brought even closer together by the incidence of a mild heart attack. Time, they know, is now against them, but the years have been good and, perhaps, another summer on Golden Pond still awaits.

New to the REP, director Barry Kemper has assembled a powerhouse cast. On "Golden Pond" stars Michael Levine, Nancy B. Berggren, Brantley Dunaway, Therese Lentz, Chuck Franklin, and Zach Kemper.

"On Golden Pond" opens tonight, Friday, March 12, with a gala wine and cheese reception at 7 p.m. and curtain at 8 p.m. The play will run through April 10. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2: p.m. There is no show Sunday, April 4. (The REP will host post show discussions immediately following each Sunday matinee. Join the cast and crew for an intimate discussion about the process of creating live theatre.)

Tickets are $18 for Adults and $16 for students and seniors. Group rates are available. Advance reservations are highly recommended. Purchase tickets online at or call (661) 288-0000. The Repertory East Playhouse is at 24266 Main St., Newhall, CA 91321.


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