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Box Office for On Golden Pond Opens Monday 2/28

The box office at The Cort Theatre (138 West 48th Street) will open on Monday, February 28 at 10AM for the new production of the beloved play On Golden Pond starring two-time Tony Award winner and Academy Award nominee James Earl Jones (Fences, The Great White Hope) and Tony Award winner Leslie Uggams (Hallelujah, Baby!, King Hedley II).

Tickets are currently available both online at www.telecharge.com and by phone at (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250.

In a performance that earned rave reviews last Fall at The Kennedy Center, Jones will be making his eagerly-awaited return to the Broadway stage (for the first time since earning his second Tony Award for Fences) in the play by Academy Award winner Ernest Thompson. Directed by Leonard Foglia (Master Class), the production will begin performances on Tuesday, March 22 with an Opening Night set for Thursday, April 7.

On Golden Pond is being produced by Jeffrey Finn, Arlene Scanlan and Stuart Thompson.

This acclaimed new production of On Golden Pond premiered last Fall at The Kennedy Center (September 28 - October 17), followed by an engagement at The DuPont Theatre in Wilmington (October 22-31). This path ironically followed the original 1979 production's pre-Broadway journey from The Kennedy Center to The DuPont (then named The Playhouse) before opening on Broadway. The lauded production of this family classic will transfer to New York intact with the same cast and creative team.

"I am honored to bring the legendary James Earl Jones back to Broadway, paired with Leslie Uggams in On Golden Pond," said lead producer Jeffrey Finn. "Our recent engagement at The Kennedy Center was a great success and we're looking forward to New York seeing our new production of this family classic." Finn produced the premiere at The Kennedy Center and is joined by Arlene Scanlan and Stuart Thompson in New York.

Critics have been unanimous in their praise for On Golden Pond and especially its stars, lead by Peter Marks of The Washington Post who raved, "James Earl Jones ignites the stage like something doused in kerosene. You can't take your eyes off of him. He remains a force to reckon with. Leslie Uggams offers a winningly sunny turn. A gracious performance."

Douglas J. Keating in Philadelphia Inquirer enthusiastically called it, "An opportunity that should be taken. See one of America's great actors back on stage in a finely-tuned production with a strong cast. James Earl Jones' dominating stage presence and instincts show he has a perfectly-timed gift for comedy. Leslie Uggams is effective and winning. Make the most of it and see On Golden Pond."

Howard Kissel of The New York Daily News proclaimed it "An evening of theater about more than this beautifully-directed play; James Earl Jones, making his return to the stage after many years, gives On Golden Pond an iconic quality."

Paul Harris in Variety called it "Touching. The play sparkles and the action flows. What an endearing couple James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams make."

Joining the critically-acclaimed pairing of Mr. Jones as Norman and Ms. Uggams as Ethel are Linda Powell (on Broadway in Wilder, Wilder, Wilder, the New York premieres of Jar the Floor and Omnium Gatherum, Off-Broadway's recent The Odyssey) as Chelsea, Peter Francis James (Obie Award for The Maids, on Broadway in Drowning Crow, Caeser in the world premiere of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean) as Bill, Craig Bockhorn (on Broadway in Prelude to a Kiss and The Lonesome West) as Charlie and Alexander Mitchell (Travis in the hit Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun) as Billy. All four appeared with Mr. Jones and Ms. Uggams in D.C. and Wilmington.

In On Golden Pond, retired New England professor Norman Thayer (Mr. Jones) and his spirited wife Ethel (Ms. Uggams) decide to spend one final summer at their family's lakeside cottage in Maine. En route to a European honeymoon, the couple's estranged daughter Chelsea (Ms. Powell) arrives to leave behind her fiancé's troubled young son (Mr. Mitchell). Colliding generations soon forge common ground, but when Chelsea returns to discover Norman playing the father she never had, years of bitter memories and resentment rise to the surface. An intimate family drama laced with humor and heart, On Golden Pond explores growing up, growing old and growing closer.

The production features set design by three-time Emmy Award winner Ray Klausen, costume design by 13-time Tony Award nominee Jane Greenwood, lighting design by Tony Award nominee Brian Nason and sound design and original music by Dan Moses Schreier.

The World Premiere of On Golden Pond was presented as a limited run of 36 performances at New York's Hudson Guild Theatre, starring Tom Aldredge and Frances Sternhagen, opening September 13, 1978. The production played a pre-Broadway engagement at The Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater in January of 1979, followed by an engagement at The Playhouse in Wilmington, prior to opening on Broadway at The New Apollo Theatre on February 28, 1979 for 126 performances. A return New York engagement at The Century Theatre opened September 12, 1979 for an additional 424 performances.

The acclaimed 1981 film version starring Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Jane Fonda and Dabney Coleman was nominated for nine 1982 Academy Awards, winning three: for 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.

The performance schedule for On Golden Pond will be Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8PM with matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2PM and Sundays at 3PM. Beginning April 19, Tuesday evenings will be at 7PM.

Tickets are $41.25 - $91.25.

James Earl Jones has a long and distinguished career on stage, bookended by his two Tony Award-winning performances in The Great White Hope (1968) and Fences (1987). Other stage work includes "MASTER HAROLD"...and the boys, The Iceman Cometh and Othello. His many films include The Great White Hope (Academy Award nomination), Dr. Strangelove and Field of Dreams, but he is probably best known as the voices of Darth Vader in the Star Wars films and Mufasa in Disney's animated classic The Lion King. He's won two Emmy Awards and recently earned his eighth nomination for his guest appearance on the series "Everwood." Mr. Jones' last Broadway appearance was in the 1987 production of Fences, a triumph for which he won his second Tony Award, as well as Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. He subsequently took the play to Los Angeles, where he won the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for his performance. He's the spokesman for Verizon and his recognizable voice is the voice of CNN.

Leslie Uggams won the Tony for Leading Actress in a Musical for Hallelujah, Baby! and received a second nomination for Leading Actress in a Play for her performance in August Wilson's King Hedley II, which also played The Kennedy Center prior to Broadway. She most recently appeared on Broadway as Muzzy Van Hossmere in Thoroughly Modern Millie and additional Broadway credits include Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes (also on national tour), Jerry's Girls and Blues in the Night. She performs concerts with symphonies across the country and is fondly remembered by television audiences as Kizzy in the miniseries "Roots."

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