Ernest Thompson, Oscar-winning writer of ON GOLDEN POND, is directing and starring in his newest play, ASK/ANSWER, premiering January 19 – February 13 at the newly renovated Mass Music & Arts Society (MMAS) in Mansfield, MA, across the street from where Thompson lived as a boy, his former backyard now the Xfinity Center (originally Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts).
ASK/ANSWER is based on the real life story of his co-star, well-known Boston/Providence actor Pamela Lambert, whose ophthalmologist saved her life because of something she detected in a routine visit. The story is as troubling and deeply moving as it is hilarious and goes like this:
Lisa and Ryle meet at a colorectal clinic; what could be more romantic? In this cunning and unexpected love story for the Age of Technology, two actors play not only a man and woman in dire need of reassurance, but also each other’s doctors and therapists, family members and friends, all of their conversations communicated via the computers and iPads and other devices that keep us simultaneously connected and chillingly isolated. No one wants to navigate the minefield of diagnosis and dread, fear and helplessness, but, as Lisa and Ryle grudgingly discover, the journey from anguish to acceptance, action, and hope, is made way more bearable, much funnier, and even inspiring, by having someone on your side.
Designing the set is three-time Tony Award winner Eugene Lee (CANDIDE, SWEENEY TODD, and WICKED), who, like Thompson, believes in supporting theatre of all sizes. Lee has worked as the production designer for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE since the show’s premiere in 1975 and has collaborated with Thompson on numerous projects, including the live CBS broadcast of ON GOLDEN POND, starring Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews.
Thompson has written music for ASK/ANSWER with MMAS’s in-house composer Bruce Webster and Boston’s indelible Samantha Farrell on vocals.
If you want to see theatre at its best, this is it.
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