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“Must see...cast is marvelous!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Trip to Bountiful

Trip to Bountiful
Broadway, New York City, NY
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Ranked #245 of 1,633 things to do in New York City
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Windsor, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Must see...cast is marvelous!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

Wonderful Broadway Play with gifted cast. Story line resonates with audience, they even quietly sang along with the one hymn scene...ah live theatre, love it! Ms. Tyson is remarkable (as always). Theatre seats in mezz were fine.

Visited August 2013
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28 reviews from our community

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English first
Syracuse, New York
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Cicely Tyson's performance is heartwrenching”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

Horton Foote's play received mixed reviews in the media, panning Cuba Gooding Jr. for a pedestrian performance and Vanessa Williams for making comic delivery choices. I disagree - Not only does Cicely Tyson's performance create such a mesmerizing character and reality for the audience that it cannot be detracted by anything going on around her, but I think this is more a case of comparing a production to the audience baggage of preconceived notions from what previous versions (in this case, first a television production and then another stage production) did. Indeed, Cuba Gooding Jr.'s portrayal of the son was simple, but it created a simple, sweet character free of the oversimplified aggressive angst too often automatically applied to half of similar characters of that type from that time period, and the result was refreshing and helped tell the story well. Vanessa Williams, in the performance I viewed, did not seem to play up any comedy at all, but just acted the reality of her character, the self-absorbed and overbearing daughter-in-law, and let the intrinsic humor in Foote's script speak for itself... and indeed that humor is there, and maybe previous productions just didn't let it speak as strongly as the drama.

Ms. Tyson, however, remains the centerpiece of this production. She has a subtlety and nuance of delivery that really lets the humor AND the drama of simple character and interactional truth speak through. Then, her emotional range is powerful and engaging, and results in an empathetic ride for the audience, sharing her frustration, then her fright, then her heartache, then her heartbreak, and ultimately her unbridled joy and triumph. If you have the opportunity to see this, do so while you can - it is unlikely to be something you will ever have another chance to experience in this amazing form.

One venue note: I decided to give box seating a try with this show, as my wife and I usually find broadway theater seats challengingly cramped. We sat in the third and fourth seats in the stage right box. I found that they were very comfortable and it did completely alleviate that distraction, but the seats also had obstructed view to the five feet at the stage right side of the stage, which was not advertised by the venue when I bought the seats. We could enjoy most of the performance regardless, but found that some action in the first and last scenes had us leaning over the edge of our box trying (and failing) to see a character at a pivotal point. In final assessment: if you are large like I am, I recommend the box seats at this theater as a great alternative for comfort; but, if you are not, I recommend traditional seating over the box seating to avoid the unadvertised obstruction.

Visited August 2013
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White Plains, New York
Top Contributor
242 reviews 242 reviews
95 attraction reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
193 helpful votes 193 helpful votes
“Tyson Is a Knockout”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

The play is miscast and misdirected with the exception of Cicely Tyson as Carrie Watts and the minor characters in the play, especially Adepero Oduye as Watts’ sympathetic traveling companion Thelma. Vanessa Williams as a termagant wife bickering constantly with her old mother-in-law is unconvincing as is Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Watts’ son Ludie. He comes off as a four-year-old instead of a 40-year-old mama’s boy with his pouts and subservient posturing. Michael Wilson’s direction is at fault here as he could have brought out Ludie’s weaknesses with his mother and fear of his wife without infantilizing him. Williams’ Jesse Mae is nothing but annoying. She is self-centered, argumentative, and money-grubbing without a shred of compassion for an old woman. The play is a vehicle for Tyson who proves her worth as the 2013 Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critic Circle Awards winner. She commands the stage, connects with the other characters, sings, and dances all at the age of 88! She rightfully brings the audience to its feet with accolades for a masterful performance.

Visited August 2013
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1 review
“Cicely Tyson is Amazing!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

Cicely Tyson leads this play with finesse, expertise and talent! Truly the quintessential actress, bar none, she allows you to feel compassionate for her character and hopeful as well. Cuba was very good in his debut performance. And Vanessa Williams played her part so well you loved to hate her. Proud of the energy, passion and truth of this play!

Visited August 2013
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Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
“Worth a trip to NY”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

A must see if in the city. Worth the Tony award recently won by Tyson. Outstanding performance by all.

Visited August 2013
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