The Trip to Bountiful, With Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Williams, Cicely Tyson, Will Arrive on Broadway Early

By Andrew Gans
28 Jan 2013

Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson

The Broadway production of Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful, which was scheduled to begin previews March 31 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, will now do so March 30, one day earlier than originally announced.

The cast will feature Emmy winner Cicely Tyson, Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. ("Jerry Maguire," "Red Tails"), Emmy Award nominee Vanessa Williams ("Ugly Betty," "Desperate Housewives") and Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad (Lifetime’s "Steel Magnolias," Broadway’s Stick Fly).

Directed by Michael Wilson and produced by Nelle Nugent, the 14-week limited engagement will officially open April 23.

“For years I have been searching for the perfect project to bring me back to my true home – the stage,” said Tyson in an earlier statement. “In many ways Broadway is my Bountiful and I’m eager and honored to return with this strong, passionate, and funny character in a timeless American classic.”



The Trip to Bountiful is among Horton’s most beloved plays, and Carrie Watts, one of his most memorable characters. To do the play and role justice, you need an actress of rare stature and command,” added director Wilson. “Cicely Tyson has, over the span of a distinguished career, depicted iconic Americans engaged in immense struggle. Her legendary performances – from Jane Pittman to Coretta Scott King to Harriet Tubman, to name just a few — have contributed mightily to our sense of national identity and character. I am thrilled that she is returning to the stage now to have her trip, to lead us all on a journey that promises to be unforgettable.”

The Trip to Bountiful, according to press notes, tells the story of "Carrie Watts (Tyson), an elderly woman who dreams of returning to her small hometown of Bountiful, TX one last time, against the wishes of her overprotective son (Gooding) and domineering daughter-in-law (Williams). Her journey becomes a heartbreaking but ultimately life-affirming and inspiring tale that examines the fragility of memory and celebrates the enduring power of hope and faith."

The Trip to Bountiful premiered as a teleplay on NBC in 1953, starring Lillian Gish as Carrie Watts. The play had its Broadway premiere later that year with the same cast, which also included Eva Marie Saint. The play was adapted by Foote into an acclaimed 1985 film starring Geraldine Page, for which she won the Academy Award. In 2005, Signature Theatre produced the play Off-Broadway starring Lois Smith, for which she won Lortel, Obie, Outer Critics and Drama Desk Awards.

The Broadway creative team will include Jeff Cowie (scenery), Van Broughton Ramsey (costumes), Rui Rita (lighting), and John Gromada (original music and sound design).

For more information visit www.TheTripToBountifulBroadway.com.