Theater: Sassy Stoic

ON GOLDEN POND

by Ernest Thompson

The first thing one hears is the cry of birds. A solitary figure shuffles in like a molting heron wearing steel-rimmed spectacles. He is Norman Thayer Jr. (Tom Aldredge), hater of the New York Yankees, high dental fees and, most of all, the thought of turning 80. For 48 years, Norman and his wife Ethel (Frances Sternhagen) have summered at their Maine cottage on Golden Pond.

Too gentle to rage against the dying of the light, Norman goes in for a good sassy snarl. Rather like the father in...

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