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THE ARTSEMERSON BLOG

Your Recent Trip to Bountiful

Thank you for joining us for The Trip to Bountiful. We are so pleased that you came and would love to hear your response to this production.

Bountiful Photo 2

 

This play has such a rich history on both stage and screen, giving voice to so many feelings and experiences of many American families. While it’s fresh in your mind:

How did the story of Mother Watts and her family resonate in your life?

Where is your Bountiful? What qualities makes a place home?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts in the comments below.

 

48 Comments

  1. I was pretty disappointed that it was very hard, sometimes impossible to hear. I feel we missed a lot, but as my husband said, Miss Tyson was able to convey so much with her actions and expressions that we didn’t lose the spirit of the play. Have you addressed the sound?

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  2. Laurlene HardyNovember 21, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I enjoyed the play. I was totally disappointed at the sound. I was in the Ochestra in row F and could not hear Cicely Tyson. The other actors/actress we low in volume as well. When you have actors and actresses of this caliber you should be able to hear them. I can’t believe nothing was done to rectify the problem during the 1st half of the show. After intermission it was a little better.

    I loved all the actors/actresses!!!!!

    Laurlene

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  3. Laurie WatermanNovember 21, 2014 at 10:19 am

    The show last night was amazing. Seeing Ms. Tyson on stage close up, dancing and singing her hymns was one of those perfect moments that you hope will stay in your heart forever. Only two minor bothersomes: Lutie’s watch should have been a Timex with a leather band rather than a flashy Rolex-looking thing which stuck out like a sore thumb, and the bottle of coke should have looked like coke and not ice tea. 🙂 Other than that: perfection!!

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  4. It was fantastic!!

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  5. I have always loved this play and I think the ArtsEmerson production is excellent. However, the sound or the miking was not good. I had trouble hearing the actors from the mezzanine. At intermission I spoke with the couple next to me and they said they too were not able to hear much of the dialog. When I left the theatre, I walked for a few blocks with 3 or 4 people who were discussing the play. I asked if they had trouble hearing the actors and they said yes, they thought the sound in the theatre was bad. I’ll need to reread the play to enjoy Mr. Foote’s sharp dialog.

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  6. Loved play except acoustics were bad during 1st act

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  7. The performances were so powerful. I was blown away. Incredible evening.

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  8. Wonderful story and acting! Sat in the Mezzanine, so there were times CIcely’s voice was low and in audible.
    Brought home the fact that the elderly are sometimes made to move from their “homes’ as they age.

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  9. What a wonderful opportunity to see three great actors performing on stage. I enjoyed every minute!!

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  10. I was in the mezzanine for the Saturday evening performance. I really
    had to listen carefully (mind you I have excellent hearing) and can only imagine how much dialog was missed but those that are hard of hearing! Thank goodness Ms Tyson was animated alot of the time so you could surmise what she was saying.
    Must add that I really enjoyed the young woman who was on “Friday Night Lights”. Truly enjoyed she and Ms Tyson’s time on stage together. Many thanks to Emerson Arts for bringing this production to Boston!

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  11. A moving tale of rekindling an old love of place and time, brought to life by a wonderful production and talented actors. I feel blessed to have seen the show and Ms. Tyson. Thank you!

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  12. Bonni CarsonDiMatteoNovember 23, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I agree with the comments about the acoustics. However, the honor of witnessing this play and the stellar performances of Tyson, Williams and Underwood in this timeless play was a moving experience. WE all have our Bountiful- that place that held our childhood dreams and stories and pain. We must all find a way back to go forward. This play takes you there.

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  13. Saw the show last night (Saturday)- it was incredible. Even from the nosebleed section up in the balcony, it was great. I do agree with some of the other commenters that at times some of the dialogue was hard to hear/understand. I’m not sure if it was the sound quality or dialect, but I did have trouble hearing and understanding at a few points of the play. Besides that, it was a wonderful night out, and I’m so glad I got to see it! 🙂

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  14. I grew up in the south and was a little girl in 1953, the time the play was set. I lived in a small town in a little house. I remember back in the 1970’s after the miniseries Roots aired my sisters and I visited that town and was so disappointed that the little house we’d lived in was gone and the areas had overgrown with trees.
    The play brought back a bittersweet memory. That you can’t go home again. But the memories of days gone by can live in your heart forever. I must say a tear was in my eye when the play was over. Loved the acting and was blessed to see these wonderful actors in person. Thank you ArtsEmerson.

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  15. Annette LewisNovember 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    The sound for the opening act was very low up in the balcony, but as it went on it improved. Overall we loved the show.

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  16. We were fortunate to attend the performance on November 22, and also stay for the post-show conversation with the actors. The play was beautifully and convincingly acted, but what gave the show depth for me was the post-show conversation: hearing Ms. Williams speak about how “Houston was Jessie Mae’s ‘Bountiful'” and another cast member share that “each character is yearning for something” offered another level to the performance. The actors’ motivations and efforts made this a moving experience, and one that kept my husband and I speaking about the play the entire 30 minute ride home! Thank you!

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  17. Saw the performance on the 22 and they have not addressed the sound. Lots of people still complaining. Loved the play otherwise. All the actors were amazing.

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  18. IRIS DUPONT-HURLEYNovember 23, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Loved to see these actors together; Ms. Tyson is amazingly strong and although I didn’t know the story I’m thrilled she was able to fulfill her wishes – lots of strong messages in that play about respect, caring, sharing and consideration. So sorry that Vanessa Williams’s part didn’t allow for her to sing more – I love her voice.

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  19. An extraordinary theater experience! This is one of my favorite plays, and sitting in the 2nd row, able to see all of Ms. Tyson’s facial expressions, was delightful. I attended the matinee performance, and found the sound perfectly modulated. As an avid theater goer, I often have to cover my ears due to the over-amplification of the cast!

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  20. Suzanne ReadNovember 24, 2014 at 9:46 am

    It was fabulous! All the acting was superb and Ms Tyson was amazing.

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  21. Francis HallahanNovember 24, 2014 at 11:09 am

    What an amazing event. It’s such a treasure when the stars from a Broadway production tour on the road. One of my first movie memories was seeing Ms. Tyson in “Sounder” on a junior high school trip, and her performance a few years later in “Miss Jane Pitman” made such an impression also. What a thrill to now see her live. We thoroughly enjoyed her, Ms Williams, Mr. Underwood, and Ms. Smollett-Bell. What a great team.

    One of my grandmothers had to leave her family home to go into elderly housing. This performance gave me a sense of what she must have felt, not alone but lonely for familiar things and better times, her “Bountiful.”

    I agree with the others that the sound needed much improvement. We attended the Saturday matinee, and I kicked myself once we got to our rear mezzanine seats for not checking into headphones (which we do for other theaters). At least we had our binoculars.

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  22. RICARDO SUBERNovember 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I thought the play was astounding! My wife and I were thoroughly surprised that we would enjoy it so much. All the actors, including Jurnee, whom I remember from the Sinbad sitcom, were superb, especially Ms Tyson.
    ” BOY I GOTTA TELL YA”, VANESSA WILLIAMS CAN SING!

    PS. I am sorry that others had problems hearing the dialog. We were closer to the stage.

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  23. Adine LatimoreNovember 24, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I thought the play was excellent. It was a privilege to see Ms. Tyson along with Vanessa Williams and Blair Underwood. I was also surprised that Ms Jurnee was a part of the cast. The view, the theater and my seats (row A middle ) in the first balcony were perfect!

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  24. Although the performances were good and it’s always been a wonderful play, my wife and I were disappointed because we simply couldn’t hear large pieces of dialog. Ms. Tyson is a great actress but her voice simply didn’t project. This is a real pity because she has most of the significant lines. A number of people left at the intermission because of this.

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  25. Claire FarrellNovember 25, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Thank you for the opportunity to see this play with the inspiring Cicely Tyson and cast. We would not have been able to go without
    the special price given for tickets on 11/24- so thank you again for making the theater experience affordable.

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  26. the play was truly amazing with three great actors Ms. Tyson, Brilliant, Ms williams, took you to what a women felt like to have no privacy as a married couple, still deep down she had love for her mother-in-law, Mr. Underwood, powerful show you how painful it was to care and keep the peace between two womens whom he loved so deeply. the post show with the actors was great and I got a change to take a picture with Mr. Underwood after, I attended the Monday night show 11/24/14, orchestra the sound was perfect. Emerson Arts, please bring more production like this to Boston. Thanks

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  27. We attended the November 22 afternoon performance. I received tickets to this wonderful show for my birthday! Ms. Tyson…your performance gave me goosebumps. My heart laughed, cried and sang with you. You made the audience feel like family! Thank you! I would also like to thank Blair and Vanessa for posing for a special birthday photo with me. I know you were cold, hungry and on a tight schedule but were gracious and friendly. You made my day!

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  28. I agree with the other posts. The veteran actors were great but a lot was lost due to poor sound quality.

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  29. I grew up on Cape Cod, from first through eleventh grade. We moved just before senior year to be closer to Boston for commuting to college. I have periodically explored moving back; but, there are few opportunities for my work there. I got a job there in 2005 and commuted 62 miles each way to determine if it was time to live and work there again. Within a few months, all the signs said the answer was no. I was grateful to have an answer but added the clause; not for now. In May 2013 I bought a second house that I use for off-season weekends and vacations. The whole thing went so smoothly it was clear it was meant to be. After 35 years, the answer was finally yes – at least part-time. I had to go for a walk on the beach after signing the papers to begin to absorb the enormity of the answer. The house is two streets over from the old house and seems more like home than the house I have had for thirteen years. The basement is 80% finished which allows my sister’s family to use it comfortably too. It is a family home and my Bountiful.

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  30. I thought the play was fabulous!! I enjoyed seeing sure great actor/actress that I admired for years. My bountiful is by the ocean, so peaceful, quiet, just me and my God!!! It also reminded me, we need to really listen to our elders, when they are speaking,The sheriff heard her, and took actions! How lovely her last days will be!! Thank you for coming to Boston!!! Blessings to all of you.

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  31. Eric SHapiroNovember 26, 2014 at 9:52 am

    an amazing theatrical experience–seeing Cicely Tyson was an extraordinary privilege. Sound was fine.

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  32. Ms. Tyson is a national treasure! Is it true, as the Playbill article about her wishing to play this role and then she could retire, that she will now retire, or is that an old story?!?

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  33. I loved this show! I laughed in Act 1 and cried in Act 2. As I watched the play my mind wandered to my own mother and my relationship with her. The interaction between the Watts family really touched my heart as there were many similarities with my family. Cecily Tyson is royalty in my eyes. Blair Underwood and Vanessa Williams were brilliant. If I had the time I would have booked another night just so I could enjoy the show all over again.

    As a daughter of an Air Force Dad my home has always been where my family was. Whether it be California, Colorado, Virginia or even Germany. My parents always stressed as long as we were together as a family, we were home. I guess with that being said I would say my Bountiful would be Scotland. My mother was born there and I hope to one day take my daughter and show her my memories of visiting there throughout my childhood.

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  34. Jacqueline BlueNovember 26, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    As I contemplate on my next move, this play reminded me of the importance of home and family. The drama unfolded in such a way that it vividly revealed the complexity of life and how sacrifice, regardless of how well intended, may result in being the vinegar one is forced to drink. Additionally, this play brought home to me the much needed care and understanding elders need and require. Too often they are overlooked, tossed aside, or used for thier retirement checks.

    There are no words for the stellar cast. What an honor to sit, spellbound and what this do what they were placed on this earth to do. It was certainly my pleasure.

    Waiting for the next event.

    Thank you for having me.

    jb

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  35. Susan McCarthyNovember 26, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    I thought the play was fantastic and I loved seeing Miss America she is just as beautiful as she was when she won

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  36. It was an absolutely beautiful show! All of the actors were absolutely amazing, especially Ms. Tyson. What a pleasure to see her in person! The Q&A after the show was a really nice touch as well. Thank you for bringing this amazing play to Boston!

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  37. I’ll agree that the sound quality was not good. However, Tyson was totally convincing as an elderly woman who wants to go home. Williams was also totally convincing as her daughter-in-law, and Underwood play his role well too. I’m glad I was able to see this performance.

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  38. Maria BacigalupoNovember 30, 2014 at 6:14 am

    Thank you for the wonderful performance on Friday night. It was a performance I will treasure and remember for always. Miss Tyson, I love you, my dear girl, you are an American treasure. Miss Williams, I was so irritated by Jesse Mae, which means you turned yourself into someone else; you are an amazing actress, and what a voice! Please do a vocal tour! Mr. Underwood, was a pleasure to see you on stage. All three were strong performances. If you haven’t seen it yet, OMG, go!

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  39. Carol BurkeyNovember 30, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    We haven’t stopped talking about the cast of The Trip To Bountiful. They were all amazing and they seemed to be enjoying their time on stage. Cicely Tyson was amazing and what moved me the most was when she sang her hymns the audience sang softly and it was so pretty. I cannot recommend this production enough. You will not be disappointed.

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  40. We were enthralled with the acting, especially Tyson. I didn’t think the play was that special. However, during the curtain call, I realized that tears were rolling down my face. The accumulated dramatic impact sneaked up on me. It was truly a memorable experience. [The sound was a problem, and I hope you’ll address it.] Looking forward to seeing the movie again after 3 decades.

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  41. Ms Tyson is a brilliant actor and was a privledge to see her in this exceptional play. The personifies of the supporting actors were a perfect fit. Everything about it was great.

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  42. Marty and LynneNovember 30, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Last evening Cicely Tyson once again demonstrated why she is a major figure in American drama. She captured the hearts of the audience with her sparkling eyes, grace, impeccable timing, and lively renditions of church music. Ms. Tyson is perfect for the role. A very strong script and cast made for a wonderful night out!

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  43. What a treat to see such a classic and talented cast in such a timeless stage production. This poignant story is full of meaning with raw emotions conveyed for each character. The idea of returning to her dignity was the most moving message that Carrie Watts presented and one that, for me, will resonate in my heart and soul forever

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  44. Maryanne PeabodyNovember 30, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    The performance was amazing. Please share with the actors that we truly enjoyed the play.The performances were outstanding. The acoustics were terrible and we had a very difficult time hearing. We were seated in the Mezzanine. Please share with the actors since I don’t know if they could hear on stage that one of the most compelling parts of the performance for me was the sound of people all around me softly singing and joining Carrie in her hymn. I don’t know if the actors can hear that on stage (since we all had trouble hearing them). It was truly a beautiful few minutes!

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  45. Oh what a time! Knowing that this production was coming to Boston was the reason I bought the membership to Arts Emerson – we drive 2.5 hours from Maine. I have always admired Ms. Tyson’s work and to see her up close is a memory I will never forget. Her facial expressions, hymns, gestures, giving voice to those in similar circumstances, etc. etc. etc. Felt very lucky to be in the orchestra close to the stage as it was hard to hear her in the beginning of the play (something must have gotten corrected late in the first act). I loved Ms. Williams performance – having seen her in Ugly Betty, etc. It was great to see her perform live!! You brought that character to life, Vanessa – her desires, spirit, egocentricity, etc.! Thank you! Mr. Underwood – your ‘struggle’ between the two important women in your life was powerful. I have seen you many times on TV…It was terrific to see the three of you have such chemistry, despite having done this show many many times…such an incredible team effort. STANDING OVATION!!

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  46. Ellen CastilloDecember 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Brought my 4 sisters and Parents (in their 80″s) to the play for their 55th wedding anniversary. Had Brunch @ the corner @ Rustic Kitchen then attended the 2pm sunday matinee. We were in the 2nd row from the stage….UNBELIEVABLE performance by Miss Cecily Tyson, a true legend. Blair Underwood and Vanessa Williams were outstanding, true professionals and loaded w/ talent. So impressed by such a small stage presence with such a powerful plot/message. Loved every minute…my mother even enjoyed the ear pieces provided as she is very hard of hearing and they helped significantly. Such a treat for their special day…GREAT DAY ALL AROUND!!!!

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  47. I left feeling amazed at the end of the performance. The play is a very sweet simple set of circumstances about complex emotions. And the actresses and actors make it sing. It reminded me of when someone is exceptional with watercolor and, with a minimum number of strokes, can create something that resonates for a long time emotionally. Everyone who performed was wonderful but Ms. Tyson in particular. I didn’t realize she was going to perform in every scene – she has a physically demanding role, the nuances could be seen all the way up to where I was in the balcony. I saw the show on November 22nd and I still feel a sense of happiness from having been there.

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  48. Debbie FirstDecember 1, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Jared Bowen described Bountiful as “perfection ”
    -/ and he is right. Language is brilliant and the cast lead
    ny the incomparable Ms.Tyson were all thrilling —
    So glad we got to see this production in Boston.

    Reply

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