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  • ‘The Trip to Bountiful’ Is a Not-to-Be-Missed Treasure

    The most heart-stopping moment of the Broadway season happens late in Act 2 of Horton Foote’s “The Trip to Bountiful.” As Carrie Watts stands once again on the now-sagging porch of the beloved home she was forced to abandon 20 years earlier, Cicely Tyson, framed by a wooden post and a flowering vine, radiates with quiet fulfillment as Carrie gazes out over what used to be her land. It is simple, silent, and stunning, proof, if any were needed, of Tyson’s magnificence as a stage actor. In director Michael Wilson’s impeccable revival of Foote’s masterwork, Tyson is giving a performance for the ages.
    The script began life as a 1953 teleplay starring Lillian Gish that was so acclaimed that it spawned a Broadway stage production that same year, again featuring Gish, though the show only ran for a month. The 1985 film version won an Oscar for Geraldine Page.
    The story begins in Houston in 1953. Carrie lives in a cramped two-room apartment with her henpecked son, Ludie, and his self-involved wife, Jessie Mae. Hymn-singing Carrie and movie-magazine-reading Jessie Mae are oil and water, with poor Ludie stuck refereeing. Carrie, who has a failing ticker, longs to return to her birthplace, Bountiful,


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