Guild’s ‘On Golden Pond’ opens tonight at Parkside

Published 9:50 am Friday, November 4, 2016

Bob Newell attended a dinner theater performance while in Hot Springs, Ark. The company performed “On Golden Pond,” and because the show struck a sweet spot in Newell’s heart he decided he would like to take a crack at directing it here in Vicksburg, and on Friday, the Vicksburg Theatre Guild will hold their opening performance of “On Golden Pond” at the Parkside Playhouse, 101 Iowa Ave.

“I saw the play and fell in love with the story and wanted to see it done in Vicksburg,” Newell said.

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“The play is a love story about two people who have been going to a summerhouse for 40 years,” he said.

VTG regular Jim Miller has been cast as Norman Thayer Jr., the leading male in the play.

He (Thayer) is a total pessimist, Newell said, and he has grown old and has started to show signs of ageing.

He has heart palpitations and some memory loss, which has caused him to realize he is coming to the end of his life.

“Ethel, Thayer’s wife, who is played by another VTG regular, Linda Hadala, on the other hand is a compete optimist,” Newell said, but through it all the couple have managed to have a meaningful marriage.

“Ethel never gives up on her husband,” Newell said, adding that “On Golden Pond” is a play where “love triumphs.”

Newell said he has a dream cast for the production, which in addition to Miller and Hadala includes Andrea Fairchild, who will play the couples daughter Chelsea, Steven Lloyd as Charlie, Wes Cowan as Billy Ray and Mitch Cochran as Bill.

Amy Melton is serving as co-director of the play since this is Newell’s first attempt at directing a show.

“Bobby wanted to direct this play and asked me if I would help,” Melton said.

“He had seen this play and was so passionate about it. He wanted to take the full reins, so I just gave him pointers,” she said.

Being a director has given me a new perspective of the job, like how you have to get actors to perform to your expectations while also letting them express themselves,” Newell said.

“I would probable do it again, just not right away.”

“On Golden Pond” is one the VTG’s main stage plays. The doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and will run Saturday and Nov. 11 and 12.

Matinee performances will be held beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 13. Tickets are $15, $10 for ages 65 and older and $8 for ages 12 and younger and are available at the VTG box office.

Advance tickets are available online at showclix.com/events/10243.

For more information, call 601-636-0471.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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