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Carrie (Tyson) meets Thelma (Condola Rashad) on the long bus ride to Bountiful, Texas.(Photo: Joan Marcus)
For her own part, Bountiful's leading lady still maintains a youthful spirit. Jimmy Choo Wedding Shoes Uk
"She's enjoying this role so much," says Rashad. "One night I looked at her, and I just wanted to laugh. I thought, 'Control yourself!' "
Tyson is also looking ahead. "I've already gotten an offer to do another show next year," she says, sounding a bit amazed. "But I'm not thinking about that now no, no, no. I'm still working on this one."
Vanessa Williams, left, Cicely Tyson and Cuba Gooding Jr. in to Bountiful. "When black audiences go to movie theaters, they do interact," she says. "They sing and dance if they feel like it. They talk back to the screen. It's great to have them feel free to do that in a Broadway theater."
The role of Carrie Watts, an aging widow who yearns to revisit the small Texas town where she grew up, first appealed to Tyson when she saw the 1985 screen adaptation, starring Geraldine Page. "I went straight to my agent's office, and I told him that if he got me a role like that, I could retire. And I continued to tell him that at least once a month. And here we are 28 years later."
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Tyson's tone is more amused than admonishing. An enduringly elegant figure at 79, with fine features and a lean Jimmy Choo Black Pumps frame kept in tact by a vegan diet "She is Miss Green Wheatgrass," Williams, 50, says admiringly the stage and screen veteran smiles often and occasionally chuckles explaining how Bountiful brought her back to Broadway after an absence of 30 years.
It was Hallie Foote, the late playwright's daughter and an acclaimed stage actress, who reached out to Tyson via a mutual friend. "Hallie wanted to do her father's play with a black cast. And she told me, 'My father was such an admirer of your work that he wouldn't want anyone else to play this role.' Well, I could not believe that. But I said to myself, maybe this is something I should be doing."
Vanessa Williams and Condola Rashad. They are seated in a spare dressing room during a rehearsal break at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, where the production of Horton Foote's classic play opens Tuesday.
But Tyson emphasizes that the story transcends "race, creed, color, creed, everything." She has found playing Carrie particularly poignant "at this stage in my life. I think of all the elders I know who find themselves in her position. They've lost their husbands. The children are grown. Maybe you're not liked by a daughter in law, and yet you're sleeping on a couch in her home, when you used to have your own."
Williams describes the production as having "different colors and a much different feel" than other stagings of Bountiful. "It's very interactive. Our audiences sing back the hymns."
in a new revival of The Trip to Bountiful, Giuseppe Zanotti Slip On
with Vanessa Williams and Condola Rashad
Vanessa Williams, left, Cicely Tyson and Condola Rashad star in to Bountiful.
Michael Wilson, a noted director of Foote and Tennessee Williams, was tapped to helm the revival, in which Williams is cast as Carrie's domineering daughter in law and Rashad, 26, plays a young soldier's wife whom Carrie meets on her journey. (Cuba Gooding Jr. plays Carrie's son, and Tom Wopat the only white actor in a principal role appears as a sheriff moved by Carrie's longing to see her old home.)
"We are not guys," Tyson notes, correcting a reporter. "We are ladies. Ladies."
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