The Trip to Bountiful

Horton Foote's straightforward 1953 play about an elderly woman's determination to return to her rural birthplace holds no surprises, and at times even seems deliberately prosaic, but its emotional "music" resonates with the life experiences we bring into the theater—dead and elderly parents, stalled relationships, lost time, suppressed nostalgia. Settle in and let the leisurely tale wash over you like warm pan drippings over a baking bird. ACT's production unites fine acting with whimsical stagecraft that, for example, disappears furniture into the air, choreographs a curvy bus ride on a rotating segment of floorboards, and sprouts sprigs of desert grass through holes in the floor. rue to Foote's intention, ACT's characters speak naturally, without self-consciousness, and generally don't seek to impress or entertain (a radical departure from the stagier approaches of Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill). MARGARET FRIEDMAN

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: May 7. Continues through June 6, 2010

 
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