Richard Chamberlain to Star in Tour of On Golden Pond Beginning September 2006
Producer Jeffrey Finn announced today that legendary television and stage star Richard Chamberlain is confirmed to headline the National Tour of the beloved play On Golden Pond. The tour of the two-time 2005 Tony Award-nominated production will launch September 2006.
Set to star as the loveable curmudgeon Norman Thayer, Jr., Richard Chamberlain has enthralled film, television and theater audiences in a career that has spanned over 40 years. A household name since his starring role in the hit television series "Dr. Kildare," Mr. Chamberlain has starred in some of the most successful productions in television history, including The Thorn Birds and Shogun, earning four Emmy nominations and three Golden Globe Awards. His extensive and acclaimed stage credits on Broadway, across the U.S. and throughout England include the hit Broadway and national touring productions of My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music.
"We are thrilled to welcome legendary star Richard Chamberlain into the On Golden Pond family," said producer Jeffrey Finn. "This national tour will extend the life of the new Broadway production, and audiences across the country will be able to re-discover this American family classic."
On Golden Pond will feature the same creative and design team as the recent Broadway production, led by director Leonard Foglia (Master Class). Booking will be handled by Avid Touring Group, with dates and venues to be announced. Additional casting will also be announced in the coming months.
Written by Ernest Thompson (who won an Academy Award for adapting his play into the screenplay for the 1981 film) and directed by Mr. Foglia, this new production of On Golden Pond premiered at The Kennedy Center last Fall before opening on Broadway in April 2005.
The new Broadway production of On Golden Pond opened to rave reviews, with Ben Brantley of The New York Times calling it, "Especially moving and deeply appealing. And trust me, you will laugh." Pat Collins of UPN-9 gave the show FOUR STARS, proclaiming it, "A laugh-filled, life-enhancing two-hour vacation!" The production was equally hailed by Roma Torre of NY-1 News as "A joyous destination and a must-see" and Mike Kuchwara of Associated Press as "A spirited, heart-tugging meditation on subjects that will always be universal, directed with care by Leonard Foglia." The Hollywood Reporter's Frank Scheck called the show "An effective play that clearly connects with audiences. On Golden Pond manages to blend pathos with Neil Simonesque one-liners to entertaining effect."
Critics outside of New York were equally enthusiastic, with Malcolm Johnson of The Hartford Courant calling it "A moving play with appeal and realism in its sharp and poignant, often funny, portraits" and Michael Killian in The Chicago Tribune proclaiming it "A firecracker of a new production!"
On Golden Pond was nominated for two 2005 Tony Awards including Best Play Revival. It was also nominated for four 2005 Helen Hayes Awards, including Outstanding Non-Resident Production, when it premiered at The Kennedy Center.
On Golden Pond tells the story of the lovable curmudgeon Norman (Richard Chamberlain) and his spirited wife, Ethel a couple whose final summer at their lakeside cottage in Maine is interrupted by the arrival of their estranged daughter and her fiancé's young son. On Golden Pond is a heartwarming and hilarious celebration of the everyday struggles and ultimate triumphs of life, love and family.
The production features set design by three-time Emmy Award winner Ray Klausen (Big River, Brooklyn), costume design by 14-time Tony Award nominee Jane Greenwood (The Heiress, The Sisters Rosensweig, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), lighting design by Tony Award nominee Brian Nason (Metamorphosis, Fortune's Fool) and sound design and original music by Dan Moses Schreier (Assassins, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee).
On Golden Pond was first presented for 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 next 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.
This new production's Kennedy Center engagement (September 28 October 17, 2004) was followed by performances at The DuPont Theatre in Wilmington (October 22-31, 2004). 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 at The Cort Theatre on April 7, 2005 starring James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams.
The acclaimed 1981 film version starring Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn and Jane Fonda was nominated for nine 1982 Academy Awards, winning three for the elder 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.
Since its original production, On Golden Pond has been presented on 6 continents, in 38 countries and in 24 languages. To this day, in the U.S. alone, there are, on average, 100 productions a year.
For complete information, visit the show's official website at www.GoldenPondOnBroadway.com.
RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN (Norman Thayer, Jr.) has enthralled film, television and theater audiences in a career that has spanned over 40 years. He became an overnight sensation as the star of the hit television series "Dr. Kildare," which made him a household name and earned him his first Golden Globe Award. Since then, he has appeared in some of television's most successful and acclaimed productions, including "The Thorn Birds," "Shogun," "Wallenberg: A Hero's Story," "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "The Bourne Identity," earning him a total of four Emmy Award nominations and three Golden Globe Awards. Mr. Chamberlain began his acting career in the theater, as a founding member of Los Angeles' acclaimed Company of Angels. Since then, he's received rave reviews on Broadway, across the U.S. and throughout England. His extensive stage credits include Hamlet (as the first American to play the title role in England since John Barrymore in 1929), Cyrano de Bergerac (Los Angeles Theater Critics Award), Richard II (in L.A. and at The Kennedy Center) and Broadway productions of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, Tennessee Williams' The Night of the Iguana and the hit revivals of the musicals My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music, both of which he also toured. He most recently starred across the country as Ebenezer Scrooge in the U.S. premiere of the new musical Scrooge. Among his countless films are the blockbuster The Towering Inferno, The Three Musketeers (and its two sequels) and The Madwoman of Chaillot opposite Katharine Hepburn. Born in Los Angeles, Mr. Chamberlain attended Pomona College, earned his sergeant stripes in the U.S. Army in Korea and recently published his long-awaited autobiography, Shattered Lives. Also an acclaimed artist, his works can be viewed at Celebrity Gallery in Lahaina and Wailea on Maui.
Ernest Thompson (Playwright) wrote the play On Golden Pond, which had its premiere in New York City in 1978. He adapted his play for the 1981 film version, which starred Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn and Jane Fonda, and won Best Screenplay awards from the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Writers Guild of America. He also wrote the film Sweet Hearts Dance starring Susan Sarandon and Don Johnson and made his directorial debut with 1969 starring Kiefer Sutherland and Winona Ryder. He also wrote and directed the made-for-TV movies "Take Me Home Again," "The West Side Waltz" and "Out of Time." In 2001, he directed a live TV version of "On Golden Pond," starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Leonard Foglia (Director). Broadway: Master Class (also London and National Tour), Wait Until Dark. Off-Broadway: The Stendahl Syndrome; If Memory Serves; One Touch of Venus; By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea; Lonely Planet. Regional includes productions of Paper Doll; Dinner with Friends; God's Man in Texas; Deathtrap; A Coffin in Egypt; Dreamland...The Music of Harold Arlen; Revelers; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; The Heidi Chronicles; Reckless and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. He was resident director of The Barrow Group, recipient of the Drama Desk Award for outstanding Off Off-Broadway Theater Company. Opera: The End of The Affair (Houston Grand Opera), Dead Man Walking (NYCO and national tour).
RAY KLAUSEN (Scenic Designer) has designed more than 250 shows for theater and television. Broadway: Big River (Roundabout), Brooklyn, Comedy Tonight, Waiting in the Wings, Bea Arthur on Broadway. Off-Broadway: Pete 'n' Keely. Other productions: Jubilee! (Las Vegas), My Favorite Broadway (City Center). He has designed numerous awards shows for television broadcast, including the Academy Awards, Tony Awards, Emmy Awards and American Music Awards and is the recipient of three Emmys and 12 Emmy nominations.
JANE GREENWOOD (Costume Designer) has designed more than 70 Broadway shows, including The Violet Hour, The Caretaker, The Retreat From Moscow, "MASTER HAROLD"...and the boys, Salome: The Reading, Tartuffe, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Oldest Living Confederate Widow, Fortune's Fool, Morning's at Seven, Major Barbara, The Dinner Party, James Joyce's The Dead, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, An American Daughter, Master Class, The Heiress, Passion, The Sisters Rosensweig, Plenty, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe. Film: Arthur, The Four Seasons, Glengarry Glen Ross. Awards include 14 Tony nominations.
BRIAN NASON (Lighting Designer). Broadway: Fortune's Fool, Taller Than a Dwarf, 1776, Metamorphosis with Mikhail Baryshnikov (Tony nomination), A Month in the Country, Arthur Miller's Broken Glass, 3 Penny Opera with Sting, M. Butterfly, Cyrano: The Musical. Off-Broadway: Dream a Little Dream, Showtune; Bailegangaire; The Dog Problem; The Picture of Dorian Gray; The Cripple of Inishmaan; An Empty Plate; Neat; Cellini; Four Dogs and a Bone; The Cocoanuts; Grace and Glorie; Richard II; Durang, Durang; Amphigorey; Pretty Fire; Cantorial; Advice from a Caterpillar; A Life in Theatre. Recent Opera: Dead Man Walking, Salome.
DAN MOSES SCHREIER (Sound Design and Original Music). Broadway: Assassins; Drowning Crow; Anna in the Tropics; Into the Woods; Topdog/Underdog; Dirty Blonde; Amour; Dance of Death; Major Barbara; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; The Diary of Anne Frank; The Tempest; Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk; The Government Inspector; Hedda Gabler; the upcoming Gem of the Ocean. Off-Broadway includes Homebody/Kabul, Radiant Baby, Spinning Into Butter, Far East, Floyd Collins and Spic-O-Rama. As a composer, Dan wrote the music for the Broadway productions of Dance of Death, The Tempest and Major Barbara. He's won two Drama Desk awards and an Obie.
JEFFREY FINN (Producer) received a Tony Award nomination for the new Broadway production of On Golden Pond starring James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams, which originally premiered at The Kennedy Center. Current productions include The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber; Game Show, for which Mr. Finn is also a co-author; and the U.S. and international tours of A Few Good Men...DANCIN'. Previous U.S. tours include The Who's Tommy; Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tell Me On A Sunday; Leader of the Pack; Promises, Promises; Stephen Sondheim's Company; Chess; and a series of national concert tours produced under the aegis Broadway Songbooks. Upcoming projects include a revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama The Subject Was Roses and a Broadway production of Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes.