BWW Review: THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL at Capital Repertory Theatre

Kevin Craig West (Ludie Watts) and Barbara Howard (Carrie Watts).

There are very few productions that move me to tears, the last being Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Violet starring Sutton Foster, ironically also based on a woman's journey to happiness. And though I usually stay composed and proper, something about Capital Repertory Theatre's beautiful production of The Trip to Bountiful compelled me to join in on the show's emotional rollercoaster and ponder upon the current state of my own life.

With a powerful book written by Horton Foote, The Trip to Bountiful is a moving, tear jerking tale of Mrs. Carrie Watts' (Barbara N. Howard) determination to see her hometown of Bountiful one last time. However, she must overcome many obstacles to get there, including a domineering, petty daughter-in-law by the name of Jessie Mae Watts (Sadrina Renee), and a heart condition that often causes her to feel quite weak.

Renee does a marvelous job, providing many bursts of comedic relief throughout the show. Alongside her is Kevin Craig West as her husband Ludie Watts who is cast very well in the role.

But the force that moves this production is Howard as Carrie Watts. She first presents herself as a strong woman who, at this point, is no longer bothered by her daughter-in-laws constant digs. But as the show goes on, Howard opens up her heart and touches each and every member of the audience. All she wants is to see Bountiful one last time, and nothing or no one is going to stop her from getting there. Her journey and determination is inspiring to say the least and often overshadows the rest of the cast.

The set design by Jared W. Rutherford is simple yet lovely, pared with the lighting design by Travis McHale. The show fits perfectly in the intimate space, packing much emotion into the 286 seat theatre.

Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill succeeds at staging the show wonderfully and picking up the pace in spots that could potentially drag. The production is overall a must see, taking the top spot on my list of Capital Rep favorites. Whether you're an avid theatre goer or not, making sure to catch The Trip to Bountiful at least once before it closes on May 15.

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From This Author Gianluca Russo