This “Trip” is definitely one worth taking

760
Male Sex Work book cover

The Trip to Bountiful show review:

Star power is a tactic used on the Broadway stage consistently, and this show definitely lives up to the hype. Based on Horton Foote’s 1985 version of “The Trip To Bountiful,” this fantastic Broadway show tells the story of Carrie Watts (the legendary Cicely Tyson) as a woman near the end of her life, who wants to go back to the town of Bountiful, where her life first began, even if it is her last visit. Taking the trip alone is made harder by her son Ludie (Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding Jr), and especially by her daughter-in-law Jessie Mae (a breathtaking Vanessa Williams).

During her travels, Carrie meets a kindred spirit (television & stage star Condola Rashad) as well, who helps to bring out the Carrie that has been repressed so long.

Gooding plays the dutiful son perfectly, trying to keep his loyal mother and overly-needy wife equally happy, while holding down a full-time job. Williams’ portrayal of Jessie Mae definitely has sprinkles of her “Ugly Betty” character Wilhelmina Slater, but instead of playing diva to the hilt, Williams plays somewhat of a diva with a heart. In her portrayal, you can see that underneath the somewhat tough exterior, Jessie Mae does have somewhat of a soft spot for “Mother Watts.”

The centerpiece of the play comes in the form of the luminous Cicely Tyson who, as Carrie, plays this part for all it’s worth. You ache for her when she is dismissed and outnumbered at home in Houston and cheer for her when she finally begins her journey to Bountiful. Tyson was truly showcased in her scenes with Rashad, who as Carrie’s new traveling companion Thelma, plays off of her perfectly. Carrie is almost uncorked with Thelma, being able to truly be the person she has so long wanted to be, even if it is just to sing a hymn or two (keep an eye out for that scene with Rashad – it’s fantastic).

For those that have seen the movie, you know the climactic scene is the final arrival in Bountiful. Without revealing too much, I will let you know that I have not seen a scene like these with Tyson and Gooding on the theater stage in years (tissues are a must).

Presentation-wise, the sets are simple, yet effective, and the supporting cast is minimal, letting the show showcase the lead actors as well as the story. It should be noted that the hair for “Bountiful” is styled by the spectacular Danny Koye (recently featured in the pages of Out In Jersey), and it definitely gives you the feel of 1950’s Texas.

At first glance, taking a movie like “The Trip To Bountiful” and turning it into a successful Broadway play may seem like a daunting task. But after seeing the revival of “Bountiful” in previews last week, I can safely assure you that this “Trip” is definitely one worth taking. 

For tickets visit www.thetriptobountifulbroadway.com/#sthash.DvFUymxD.dpbs.  

 

The Trip to Bountiful show review:

Star power is a tactic used on the Broadway stage consistently, and this show definitely lives up to the hype. Based on Horton Foote’s 1985 version of “The Trip To Bountiful,” this fantastic Broadway show tells the story of Carrie Watts (the legendary Cicely Tyson) as a woman near the end of her life, who wants to go back to the town of Bountiful, where her life first began, even if it is her last visit. Taking the trip alone is made harder by her son Ludie (Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding Jr), and especially by her daughter-in-law Jessie Mae (a breathtaking Vanessa Williams).