I really want to see a play on Broadway in New York City, so that ranks pretty high on my bucket list (a dog is #1). In the meantime, I watch the Tonys on TV and catch what I can on film or traveling productions where I live. I said all that to tell you that Lifetime Television is premiering a movie version of The Trip to Bountiful on Saturday, March 8 at 8 p.m. I’m excited.
First of all, Lifetime kept legend Cicely Tyson, 88, in the starring role as Carrie Watts. Ms. Tyson won a Tony Award for her performance in the play, which received a total of four nominations. Equally compelling for me, Vanessa Williams, who also scored great reviews in the Broadway production, is in the movie, too.
Twitter-style recap of the story by playwright Horton Foote: It’s 1947. Old lady lives with her wimpy son and stuck-up daughter-in-law. She yearns to see her hometown, Bountiful, once more before she dies. The kids say no. She runs away determined to get there somehow.
About that daughter-in-law. Here’s how Backstage describes her:
“Vanessa Williams manages the difficult task of fully portraying Jessie Mae’s shallowness and narcissism without making her a shrew. Still beautiful in middle age, her Jessie Mae is a restless, bored woman for whom childlessness is much more of a sorrow than she lets on”
Whoops there it is.
Skimming through online plot summaries and reviews, Jessie Mae is indeed referred to as a “shrew”, “shrewish” and other words that translate to “super bitchy”. However, she is tasked with caring for a childish mother-in-law instead of a child, and it has changed her. I’ve met that woman. No, it’s not me, but I’ve met her. Have you?
I remember seeing an earlier version of Bountiful with Geraldine Page as Carrie back in the ’80s, but it didn’t make much of an impression, to tell the truth. I have higher hopes for Lifetime’s show. It’s getting good reviews, including one from First Lady Michelle Obama who hosted a special screening at the White House and took her daughters to see it on Broadway.
If you’re interested but you’re busy Saturday night and TiVo-less, Lifetime plans re-broadcasts on Sunday, March 9 at 12 a.m. and 9 p.m. and Monday, March 10 at 1 a.m.
(Image Credit: Annette Brown)