The Trip To Bountiful Is Now A Comment On Racism

Categories: Theater

Horton Foote's emotional The Trip To Bountiful--about a widow's yearning to revisit her beloved Bountiful, Texas--began as a TV movie, then it was a Broadway play, then a 1985 movie (which won Geraldine Page a deserved Oscar), and now it's back on Broadway, with Cicely Tyson in the lead role.

Trip has had quite a trip--and Tom Wopat, who plays the sheriff, just told me what added texture the new casting brings.

"There's racial tension that didn't exist in previous productions," Tom told me yesterday.

"When you look at the political situation in Texas--with immigration--the racial implications of all that are huge."

I bet if Holland Taylor dropped by this show as Ann Richards, she'd vehemently agree.

Wopat said he normally doesn't care for smaller roles "because I like to be busy, but this is a part that's critical to where she wants to go. I'm the enabler. I get her to her goal." And besides, he said he had a good experience with an all-star production of Glengarry Glen Ross a few years ago, so he liked the idea of this production's cast.

The ensemble not only features Tyson and Wopat, it also stars Vanessa Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr. (from Boat Trip to Bountiful), and Tony nominee Condola Rashad.

Sounds like the new Bountiful is worth a trip.


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Wopat is a vastly underrated stage performer.

He's the best Billy Flynn I've ever seen in "Chicago," other than the role's original interpreter, Jerry Orbach.


"Several"? Like eight? Could be rough.


This was one of my favorite movies, and Geraldine Page was a great actress.  I do like Cicely Tyson, but at her age, will she be able to pull off several performances per week? 


I'm looking forward to this.