Review: MainStage Irving-Las Colinas brings American classic ON GOLDEN POND


By Ernest Thompson
Directed by Michael Serrecchia
Produced by MainStage Irving- Las Colinas

Audience Rating: G
Running Time: 2 hours plus a 15 minute intermission
Accessible Seating: Available
Hearing Devices: Not Available
Sensory Friendly Performance: Not Available
Production Sound Level: Comfortable Sound Level
Noises or Visuals to Prepare for: None

Reviewed by Glynda Welch

The Thayers spend their 48th summer On Golden Pond in Ernest Thompson’s poignant classic that explores a host of universal themes including aging, parent-child relationships, and intergenerational conflict. Norman Thayer, played with the crustiest charm imaginable by Evan Faris even tries the patience of his cheerful wife Ethel Thayer, played with gentle strength by Mary Margaret Pyeatt.

Daughter Chelsea (Dayna Fries) hasn’t visited her parents in 8 years, but comes to their summer house to celebrate Norman’s 80th birthday, bringing along her new boyfriend Bill Ray (Ehren Hartz) and his 13 year old son, Billy Ray (Wyatt Hartz). Chelsea is estranged from her father, who is always "Norman" to her while she obviously adores Ethel who is always "Mommy." Ironically, Chelsea is more like her father than she probably realizes. Fries mines the depths of Chelsea’s childhood trauma without getting whiny. Ehren Hartz in his stage debut channels any nervousness into the nervous and insecure Bill Ray. Wyatt Hartz (Billy Ray) is the real-life son of Ehren Hartz. Wyatt Hartz is a delight as Billy, sparring with Norman and then coming to really enjoy his company. Completing the cast is Jake Shanahan as Charlie Martin. Well known to North Texas audiences, Shanahan brings his comic skills to the off-beat Charlie, who delivers the mail via boat On Golden Pond.

Director Michael Serrecchia has assembled a very talented crew of designers to support his talented cast. Scenic Designer/Set Dresser Joseph Cummings and Master Carpenter Ellie Wyatt have created the cozy summer cottage we all would like to find on rental sites. Nestled among trees that swayed, the sweet cottage faced the lake. This smart choice let the audience be part of saying hello and goodbye to the loons. Rich Frolich’s Sound Design included lake sounds from before the play opens, welcoming all to the pond. Michael A. Robinson of Dallas Costume Shoppe is Costume Designer. Lighting Design is by Elizabeth Ross. Rob Stephens serves as Tech Producer, with Jill Stephens as Administrative Producer/Property Designer

Written in 1979, ON GOLDEN POND is a modern American classic. MainStage Irving’s lovely production is well worth braving the construction and traffic around the Irving Arts Center. The show continues through May 13th at the Dupree Theater.  Get your tickets through the website 


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Glynda Welch