Norman and Ethel are returning to their beloved lake home for one more summer -- maybe for the final summer. He's recently celebrated his 80th birthday, and things he once knew are slipping away from him. One of those things that could have slipped away is his daughter, Chelsea; they've had a strained relationship for years. So when Chelsea shows up with her fiancee and his teenage son in tow, Norman's not as thrilled to see everybody as you might expect. Matters change when the boy, Billy Ray Jr., stays behind for the summer while Chelsea and Billy Ray Sr. go off to Europe. The old man and the young man forge a bond founded on their mutual discomfort with where they are in life -- one nearing the end and not ready to let it all go, the other nearing the beginning and uncertain of how to get it all started. Ernest Thompson's On Golden Pond is about families and aging and how both are inescapable. The Black Rep opens its 35th season with On Golden Pond at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (January 4 through February 5) at the Grandel Theatre (3610 Grandel Square; 314-534-3810 or www.theblackrep.org). Tickets are $35 to $47.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 4. Continues through Feb. 5, 2012