Friday, April 4, 2008

Trip to Bountiful

Last night we went to a performance of the Horton Foote play, Trip to Bountiful. I've loved that story every since I saw the movie version with Geraldine Page some years back. One of my sisters even got me a cd of the movie soundtrack autographed by the music composer, bless her!

So, the Goodman Theatre in town put on a series this year: the complete Horton Foote plays. A friend at work knew I wanted to see Bountiful, which had gotten rave reviews, but is almost at the end of its run. She gave me an Internet code for half-price tickets if you log on to buy after 10am on the day of performance. I got two tickets and off we went, up to the back of the mezzanine, but still excellent seats.

The mean ol' daughter-in-law was played by the playwright's daughter, Hallie Foote, and she was good at being bad. Since I knew the story, I wasn't expecting to be surprised by anything, but Lois Smith as Momma/Miz Watts built the character up to the final scene that left me in tears. I know I've been thinking about my mother-in-law who is now in a nursing home at a very great age. She often asks when she can "go home." Sometimes she means her old apartment in our 2-flat, but sometimes she means the homestead farm in North Dakota where she grew up. Seeing Miz Watts walking around her old broken down Texas farmhouse in Bountiful for the last time, saying goodbye to the place where she felt really alive and loved was just ...too much. Sometimes you're glad to be sad.

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