Hayley Mills Is Richard Chamberlain's Co-Star for On Golden Pond Tour in 2006

News   Hayley Mills Is Richard Chamberlain's Co-Star for On Golden Pond Tour in 2006 Producer Jeffrey Finn announced Dec. 1 that Academy Award-winner Hayley Mills will join Richard Chamberlain to headline the upcoming 30-week national tour of On Golden Pond, launching Sept. 5, 2006, in Fort Worth, Texas.
Hayley Mills
Hayley Mills Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The staging is director Leonard Foglia's production that was Tony Award-nominated for Best Revival (Play) in 2005. Performances in Fort Worth play Bass Performance Hall. A complete list of touring cities and venues will be announced in the coming weeks.

Hayley Mills, who will play loyal wife Ethel in the family comedy-drama, made her film debut at age 12 in "Tiger Bay" in 1959. She won the Oscar for Disney's "Pollyanna," and followed it with the hit "The Parent Trap." She made her stage debut in London in 1969 in the title role of Peter Pan and went on to appear in numerous West End productions. In 1991 in Australia, she starred as Anna in the world premiere of the new and acclaimed production of The King and I. The production was so successful it was the basis for the production that opened on Broadway in 1996, winning five Tony Awards. When the U.S. national tour of King and I was launched in 1997, she was invited to reprise her critically-acclaimed performance, which she played for more than a year.

Mills made her New York stage debut in Noel Coward's A Suite in 2 Keys, for which she won a Theatre World Award. More recently, she appeared Off-Broadway in the long-running hit The Vagina Monologues.

Mills joins the previously-announced Richard Chamberlain, who will star as the lovable grump Norman Thayer, Jr., Ethel's retired professor husband. Chamberlain's varied career has included TV (as "Dr. Kildare," and as star of "The Thorn Birds" and "Shogun"), theatre (Broadway's My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music) and film ("The Towering Inferno," "The Three Musketeers").

"We are delighted to welcome Hayley Mills into the On Golden Pond family," producer Jeffrey Finn said in a statement. "Now, audiences across the country will be able to re-discover this American family classic with the star pairing of Mr. Chamberlain and Ms. Mills. I am thrilled to extend the life of the new Broadway production of On Golden Pond with this exciting national tour." On Golden Pond will feature the same creative and design team as the 2005 Broadway production, led by director Leonard Foglia (Master Class, the upcoming revival of The Subject Was Roses starring Bill Pullman and Judith Ivey). Additional casting will be announced in the coming months.

Written by Ernest Thompson (who won an Academy Award for adapting his play into the screenplay for the 1981 film) and directed by Foglia, this new production of On Golden Pond premiered at The Kennedy Center in fall 2004 before opening on Broadway in April 2005. The cast was led by James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams (as Norman and Ethel).

"On Golden Pond tells the story of the lovable curmudgeon Norman (Richard Chamberlain) and his spirited wife, Ethel (Hayley Mills) — 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 will features set design by three-time Emmy Award winner Ray Klausen (Big River, 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).

For information, visit the show's official website at www.GoldenPondOnBroadway.com.

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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.

The acclaimed 1981 film version starring Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn and Jane Fonda was nominated for nine 1982 Academy Awards, winning three for the elder Fonda, Hepburn and author Ernest Thompson for the screenplay he adapted from his own play. For his screenplay, Mr. Thompson also won Golden Globe and Writers Guild of America awards.

Since its original production, the play has been presented on six continents, in 38 countries and in 24 languages. To this day, in the U.S. alone, there are about 100 productions produced every year.

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