Alton Little Theater continues the resumption of 87th season shows with a stunning production of Dan Gordon's adaption for the Broadway stage of the Oscar-winning movie “Terms of Endearment” at the Showplace on the Mainstage for eight performances May 14-23.
The dramatization stars Lee Cox, Jessica McCawley, John Fitzpatrick, Michael Arthur, Samantha Maples, Patrick Anderson and Emily Schneider in the iconic roles most "endeared" in the novel by Larry McMurtry, adapted for film by James L. Brooks.
Seven actors weave the story of one Texas family from 1978-1992, particularly the turbulent connection of a strong-willed mother and daughter, respectively portrayed at ALT by Lee Cox and Jess McCawley.
Challenges in life and love test the resilience of relationships. Aurora (Cox) and Emma (McCawley) talk every day about their problems: Aurora finding unexpected love even as she becomes a reluctant grandmother, Emma struggling in her troubled marriage. But when they need each other most, two very different women begin to find courage and strength in each other, even through adversity. This funny and touching story captures the delicate, sometimes fractured bonds between mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, and lovers, both old and new.
Kevin Frakes, ALT's artistic director, stepped in to direct the production when slated Director Brant McCance needed to step away for several weeks. Lee Cox had long dreamed of taking on the layered role of Aurora Greenway, so she pitched in and provided help with design, set and costumes. Cox says the ALT role and cast are a "dream come true for her ... If the audience wants to strangle me in the beginning and then hold me in their arms for comfort at the end of the show — then I've done my job."
Individual tickets are available for the show. The Showplace is now seating at 60 percent capacity, which will easily accommodate current season ticket holders. The theater is still offering a three-show package for just $50 — which includes “Terms of Endearment,” “The Full Monty” and “Kong's Night Out.” For more information, call the box office at (618) 462-3205.
The artistic set was inspired by the Renoir painting "A Girl with a Watering Can." Frakes and Cox created a surreal set to serve as the almost invisible backdrop to actors portraying imperfect humans who hurt and heal one another.
“The drama is a love story of epic proportions and reminds us that time is fleeting and only loving with our whole heart can be our undoing and/or our salvation,” a press release states. “Audiences should love remembering the story and the promise for their own lives.”