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'On Golden Pond' opens July 15 at Chief Theater

Performances of "On Golden Pond" are set for 7:30 p.m. on July 15, 16, 21 and 22, and at 2 p.m. on July 17 and 20, at the Chief Theater.

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Paul Bunyan Playhouse members, from left: Shannon Seeba, Edwin Strout and Miriam Monasch rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “On Golden Pond” set to open at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 15, at the Chief Theater.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI — Two veteran Twin Cities actors will be in the lead roles when the Paul Bunyan Playhouse presents “On Golden Pond” starting Friday, July 15, at the Chief Theater.

Ross Young and Miriam Monasch play Norman and Ethel Thayer, an aging couple who spend each summer at their home on a lake called Golden Pond. Those roles were made famous by Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn in the 1981 film version.

“Ross brings so much to the table in the role of Norman,” said director Mike Ricci. “He’s on stage almost the whole play. There’s some real humor there, and there are some poignant moments. There are moments where you really feel for him, and there’s moments where you think. ‘Yikes, why did you say that?’”

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Paul Bunyan Playhouse members Ross Young, left, and Miriam Monasch rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “On Golden Pond” set to open at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 15, at the Chief Theater.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

As Norman’s wife, Monasch helps hold everything together.

“She’s a really good foil for Norman,” Ricci said. “They’re a good pair. What he’s lacking, she has. She helps him through a lot of tough times. Like many women in a family situation, she’s the rock. Too often women don’t get that credit.”

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Ricci said although the play contains plenty of humor, it also gives the audience a lot to think about, especially regarding relationships between older parents and their adult children.

“This is one of those plays that I feel is going to resonate with people up here,” he said. “A lot of people, especially as they move on in life and get past middle age, start thinking about relationships with their family members and what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives.

"So this is one of those plays that even though it’s got quite a bit of humor in it, it kind of makes you think about ‘Where am I with my life? How do I want to live my life?'"

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Paul Bunyan Playhouse members, from left: Ryden Seeba, Ross Young and Miriam Monasch rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “On Golden Pond” set to open at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 15, at the Chief Theater.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on July 15, 16, 21 and 22, and at 2 p.m. on July 17 and 20.

Tickets are $25 or $15 for students with a valid ID. They are available online at thechieftheater.com or at the Chief Theater box office.

Related Topics: THINGS TO DOEVENTSTHEATER
Dennis Doeden, former publisher of the Bemidji Pioneer, is a feature reporter. He is a graduate of Metropolitan State University with a degree in Communications Management.
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