In the revival of the plaintive Horton Foote play about an aging Texas mama who wants to see her old home before she dies, Lois Smith is putting in the sort of earthy, pained and uncluttered performance that would surely win her a Tony Award if the play found itself on Broadway.
The staging is, in fact, at the intimate Signature home Off-Broadway, at the Peter Norton Space on West 42nd Street.
Signature launched the production, directed by Harris Yulin, Nov. 15. It opened Dec. 4. The extension to Feb. 19, 2006, was announced Dec. 8, days after a rave review in The New York Times and plaudits from other critics.
Lois Smith plays Carrie Watts and Hallie Foote (the playwright's daughter, a respected actress) is Jessie Mae Watts. The man in between them is Devon Abner, playing Carrie's quietly sad son, Ludie, who shares his mother's ache for the past while being tugged by his present obligations. The run was originally scheduled to end Jan. 8, 2006.
According to Signature, "In The Trip to Bountiful, Carrie Watts longs to return to her childhood home of Bountiful, Texas, where she hasn't been in 30 years. Despite her failing health, she grows more determined to escape from the tiny Houston apartment she shares with her soft-spoken son and watchful daughter-in-law. Finally she gets her chance to head homeward, and it is the journey of a lifetime." The cast also include Meghan Andrews, Jim DeMarse, Gene Jones, Sam Kitchin and Frank Girardeau.
Signature's $15 ticket initiative for the 15th anniversary celebration continues to Jan. 8, 2006. Prices go up to $55 Jan. 10-Feb. 19, 2006.
For subscription and ticket information, call (212) 244-PLAY (7529) or visit www.signaturetheatre.org.