Back from The Trip to Bountiful at Round House, and the pleasure of participating in a standing ovation for lead actress Lizan Mitchell as Carrie Watts, the geriatric runaway who's more than a Helen Hayesish caricature of a spunky little old lady. I love when standing ovations happen, especially on a Thursday night with a theater roughly half full, mostly comprising invalids like me--a not-so-spunky little old lady.
Photo of Lizan Mitchell and Howard W. Overshown by Roger Mastroianni
Interesting that this is the second Horton Foote play for me this year, the other being The Carpetbagger's Children at Ford's. The two are set in roughly the same geo-temporal and emotional space, using similar stagecraft (kudos to Tony Cisek, scenic designer, and Christopher Studley lighting designer, for the gorgeous quilt patterns on the stage walls and, in the Bountiful scene, on the stage itself, conveying the home-ness of the landscape: "We are all a part of this," Carrie says wistfully).
"Bountiful" did what I kept expecting "Carpetbaggers" to do, which was to draw me into a slice of life that I could witness for myself as the actors acted with each other, rather than have to listen attentively to like a radio show. So on that basis I give "Bountiful" the theatrical edge. Just a matter of taste, I guess.
A happy surprise was the use of a glorious piece of background music to provide the aural expression of Carrie's emotional climax: it was "Amazing Grace" as interpreted by Hubert Laws on jazzy flute, one of my all-time favorite pieces of music (I once imagined I would wed with that music playing). It was just perfect for the moment in the play when Carrie's wish is, as much as it could be, fulfilled. It made me smile.
with a bountiful heart
(P.S., I'm more than a week late reporting on the second of my two Clay Aiken concerts from the Tried and True tour, but I did post my videos on YouTube (here) if anyone is interested. Clay Aiken is in a whole different category of my artistical blogging, IYKWIMAITTYD.)