Ernest Thompson's original play lacks the high drama of its famous film counterpart, but has all the heart. The tale concerns Norman and Ethel Thayer, an aging couple vacationing on a lake for perhaps their last time, returned to some youthful vigor by the arrival of a 13-year-old step-grandson. While guilty of overt sentimentality, Thompson's script creates expertly drawn characters. The joy of this revival, so ably directed by Cameron Watson, is in its impeccable production values, which begin with the casting of the elderly leads. Watching old pros Hal Linden and Christina Pickles navigate through a constantly changing stream of bickering, loving and alternately fearing or bravely facing death is a mini-course in consummate acting. John Iacovelli's intricately designed country summer home, meticulously dressed by MacAndME, complements this thoroughly satisfying event. Into the mix comes fine teen actor Nicholas Podany, who holds his own with the veterans, finding multiple dimensions of adolescence. Monette Magrath also turns in a fine performance as the Thayer's aggrieved daughter, Chelsea, come to make peace with her father. Only Jonathan Stewart is out of place as Chelsea's nervous fiancé; his stressful performance seems to belong in a French farce. Colony Theatre Company, 555 N. Third St., Burbank; Thurs.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Aug. 28. (818) 558-7000, ext. 15, ColonyTheatre.org.
Sat., July 30, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 & 8 p.m. Starts: July 30. Continues through Aug. 28, 2011