The Seasons Dinner Theatre reprises beloved ‘On Golden Pond’

by Elyse Kaner
Staff Writer

Producer Patti Hynes-McCarthy puts on two hats in The Seasons Dinner Theatre production “On Golden Pond.” The show opens this weekend with Hynes-McCarthy stepping into the spotlight in a lead role of Ethel Thayer.

Patti Hynes-McCarthy is Ethel Thayer and Greg Eider is Norman Thayer in The Seasons Dinner Theatre production of “On Golden Pond.” The show, which opens this weekend, ushers in the theater’s 25th anniversary season. Photo submitted

The Seasons begins its 25th year with the time-honored classic penned by Ernest Thompson.

Patti’s husband Tom McCarthy directs.

The production company is reprising the show that it first presented back in 1989.

“It was such a beloved show at that time, we always thought we’d do it again some day,” Hynes-McCarthy said in an interview.

Plus, Majestic Oaks in Ham Lake, where The Seasons shows are now staged, has a nearby pond. Not unsimilar to the golden pond in Maine where the play is set, Hynes-McCarthy said.

Hynes-McCarthy, a Coon Rapids resident, has been the behind-the-scenes producer for The Seasons for more than two decades. But some theater-goers might recognize her for her acting talents. Two years ago she appeared in another lead role of Sister Aloysius in “Doubt” at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage in Anoka.

The “Golden Pond” plot centers on Norman and Ethel Thayer, who in their golden years, return to their lake home they’ve had for 48 years in Maine. This could be their last visit. They anticipate a peaceful summer. But enter a spunky daughter and a youthful boy who could be the grandchild they never had, and a whole new love story begins. Laughs and poignant moments abound throughout.

The Seasons Dinner Theatre at Majestic Oaks presents
“On Golden Pond”
Directed by Tom McCarthy
Feb. 10-March 11, $44.95-$54.95
Majestic Oaks Golf Course
701 Bunker Lake Blvd., Ham Lake
For more info visit
or call 763-755-2140

Hynes-McCarthy promises the show will follow the 1981 movie, starring Kathryn Hepburn as Ethel and Henry Fonda as Norman, as closely as possible, especially important because the film is a timeless, perennial favorite that people return to watching year after year, Hynes-McCarthy said. Both Hepburn and Fonda won Oscars for best actor in a leading role at the 1982 Academy Awards for their performances in the movie.

“I really feel there’s no audience member who won’t come and be able to relate to these characters,” Hynes-McCarthy said.

Hynes-McCarthy is pleased to be playing opposite Greg Eider of Coon Rapids. He plays Norman, a witty, yet curmudgeonly retired English professor facing his 80th birthday and his mortality.

“He can play a difficult character in a lovable way,” Hynes-McCarthy said.

Ethel is just the opposite. Perky, always positive, a stabilizing force for her family.

Hynes-McCarthy is enjoying the Ethel role, but readily admits being a bit overwhelmed inhabiting a character as lovable as Kathryn Hepburn’s portrayal of Ethel. She aims to emulate her upbeat character.

Other actors in the show are David Otto Simanek (Charlie) of St. Paul, Allison Ballou (Chelsea Thayer) of Minneapolis, Gabe Hill (Billy Ray Jr.) of Coon Rapids and Ryan Coble (Bill Ray) of St. Louis Park.

Need another reason to see the show?

“As Minnesotans, we all love going to the lake,” Hynes-McCarthy said. “The magic and the charm of the lake. It’s a special place.”

Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]

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