The Broadway hit “A Trip To Bountiful” starring Cicely Tyson, Cuba Gooding Jr, Vanessa Williams, Adepero Oduye and Tom Wopat is not to be missed! So it is no wonder that Michelle Obama took Sasha and Malia on their visit to New York this past weekend. They slipped into their seats just as the first act was starting so went undetected by the other audience members. But they received a huge ovation from the lucky gallery, when they took their seats for the second act. After the show, they graciously went backstage and met every single crew and cast member, chatting for several minutes with everyone, including Tyson, Gooding, and Williams. The First Family had spent the earlier part of the day at the U.S. Open.
It was a bit of an adult choice for the first daughters, especially 11 year-old Sasha. I personally found the story very cruel and a bit nonsensical. Honestly, what was the big beef with taking the mother back home?? And while the rest of the audience inexplicably cracked up laughing throughout – particularly one annoying gentleman behind us, who hooted loudly and kept “ummiing” and “ahhing” the entire show – I found this story really sad. There are multiple incidences of horrific elder abuse and neglect by all of the characters, that made me both angry and sad.
That said, the performances were stellar. It is a once-in-a-Lifetime experience to witness the greatness of Cicely Tyson. And while Cuba Gooding was a bit over hammy for me, Vanessa Williams was spot on as the wicked daughter-in-law. I also fell in Love with Adepero Oduye, although the choice she makes is also a bit cruel in the end. The sets are breathtakingly well done and thrust you right into the period.
A Note: Do make sure to get avoid the sides and get proper seats in the middle. I was for given bad seats in the front row on the side, which totally obscured the stage and would’ve made it impossible for me to actually review the play, so I had to move.