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.