Complete casting will also be announced in the coming months; it was not announced whether the staging would again include non-traditional casting. Jeffrey Finn told Playbill.com that "if the right combination of actors comes together and they happen to be African-American...that'd be fantastic" but the production wasn't conceived to be non-traditional — it was put together have the very best actors possible.
On Broadway this time around, Tony Award winners James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams star as aging couple Norman and Ethel Thayer, who are spending what may be their final summer at their beloved Maine lakehouse.
Written by Ernest Thompson (who won an Academy Award for adapting his own play into the screenplay for the 1981 film) and directed by Foglia, this new production (using a further revised script, though lacking cultural references to the African-American experience) premiered at The Kennedy Center in fall 2004 before opening on Broadway on April 7, 2005 at The Cort Theatre.
The production was nominated for two 2005 Tony Awards: Best Play Revival and Best Leading Actor in a Play (James Earl Jones). "On Golden Pond tells the story of the lovable curmudgeon Norman and his spirited wife, Ethel – a couple whose final summer at their lakeside cottage in Maine is interrupted by the arrival of their estranged daughter and her fiancé's young son," according to the producers. "On Golden Pond is a heartwarming and hilarious celebration of the everyday struggles and ultimate triumphs of life, love and family."
The production features set design by three-time Emmy Award winner Ray Klausen (the recent Broadway revival of Big River, the current Brooklyn) costume design by 14-time Tony Award nominee Jane Greenwood (The Heiress, The Sisters Rosensweig, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), lighting design by Tony Award nominee Brian Nason (Metamorphosis, Fortune's Fool) and sound design and original music by Dan Moses Schreier (Assassins, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee).
This new production was also nominated for four 2005 Helen Hayes Awards, including Outstanding Non-Resident Production.
On Golden Pond was first presented for a limited run of 36 performances at New York's Hudson Guild Theatre, starring Tom Aldredge and Frances Sternhagen, opening Sept. 13, 1978.
The production next played a pre-Broadway engagement at The Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater in January 1979, followed by an engagement at The Playhouse in Wilmington, prior to opening on Broadway at The New Apollo Theatre on Feb. 28, 1979 for 126 performances. A return New York engagement at The Century Theatre opened Sept. 12, 1979 for an additional 424 performances.
This new production's Kennedy Center engagement (Sept. 28-Oct. 17, 2004) was followed by performances at The DuPont Theatre in Wilmington (Oct. 22-31, 2004).
This path ironically followed the original 1979 production's pre-Broadway journey from The Kennedy Center to The DuPont (then named The Playhouse) before opening on Broadway.
For complete information, visit the show’s official website at www.GoldenPondOnBroadway.com.