Hampton Theatre Company’s ‘On Golden Pond’

The love story of an elderly couple dealing with family history and the advance of time
Diana Marbury as Ethel and George Loizides as Norman in "On Golden Pond" Andrew Botsford

The Hampton Theatre Company will present Ernest Thompson’s play “On Golden Pond,” the love story of an elderly couple dealing with family history and the advance of time, from next Thursday through Jan. 27 at the Quogue Community Hall. 

Ethel and Norman Thayer are celebrating their 48th summer together at a cottage on a lake in Maine. His mordant wit and crotchety personality provide cover of sorts for his fears about his health and failing memory. Ten years his junior, Ethel offers her support by celebrating the things that have enriched their time together.

Into their lives comes their divorced, middle-aged daughter, Chelsea, whose relationship with her father has long been fraught. Her boyfriend, Bill Ray, and his teenage son, Billy, whom they leave with the Thayers while they travel to Europe, accompany Chelsea.  

As the play progresses, the family must come to terms with the bitterness between father and daughter, while at the same time Norman blossoms with the opportunity to mentor Billy.

Written when Mr. Thompson was 28, “On Golden Pond,” premiered Off Off Broadway in 1978 before moving on to 400 performances in two successful Broadway runs a year later. The most recent Broadway revival took place in 2005 with an African-American cast led by James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams. 

The 1979 production won five Drama Desk Awards, including outstanding new play, and the 2005 production earned Tony Awards for best revival and best actor.

Mr. Thompson won an Academy Award for his adaptation of the play for the 1981 film starring Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, and Jane Fonda. His second play, “The West Side Waltz,” opened on Broadway in 1981 and starred Ms. Hepburn.

The cast of the Hampton Theatre Company production includes four company veterans: Diana Marbury as Ethel, George Loizides as Norman, Jane Cortney as Chelsea, and Paul Bolger as Charlie, the community’s mailman. The cast is rounded out by two newcomers to the company, Wally Marzano-Lesnevich as Bill Ray, and Ian Hubbard, a Hampton Bays High School student, as Billy.

Andrew Botsford, the company’s president, will direct the production. Set design is by Sean Marbury, lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski, and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.

Performances will take place Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sunday afternoons at 2:30. An additional matinee will be offered on Jan. 26. Tickets, which can be purchased on the theater company’s website, are $30, $25 for senior citizens, $20 for those under 35, and $10 for students.