Award-winning actors Katharine Ross and Wilford Brimley bring Love Letters to life at Strings
● By Deb Olsen
Wilford Brimley and Katharine Ross
StringsIn honor of the All Arts Festival, Strings Music Festival presents Wilford Brimley and Katharine Ross starring in the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play Love Letters, by A.R. Gurney.
Love Letters centers on two characters, Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, who perform side by side as they recount 50 years of notes, letters and cards in which they discuss their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, victories and defeats. The two were childhood friends whose lifelong correspondence begins with birthday party thank-you notes and summer camp postcards. Romantically attached, they continue to exchange letters through their boarding school and college years, where Andy excels and Melissa flunks out. While Andy is at war Melissa marries someone else, but her attachment to Andy remains strong, and she continues to keep in touch as he marries, becomes a successful attorney, gets involved in politics and is elected to the U.S. Senate.
Meanwhile, her marriage in tatters, Melissa dabbles in art and gigolos, drinks more that she should and becomes estranged from her children. Eventually she and Andy become involved in a brief affair, but it is too late for both of them. Their letters make it clear how much they really meant and gave to each other over the years – as close as only true lovers can be.
Over the years, Love Letters has appeared on and off Broadway, with a star-studded list of performers, including Lynn Redgrave, Timmoth Hutton, Elizabeth McGovern, Larry Hagman and Carrie Preston.
Actor Wilford Brimley is noted for his roles in films including The China Syndrome, Cocoon, The Thing, The Natural, Absence of Malice and The Firm. He played a recurring role in the 1970s television series The Waltons and starred in the 1980s drama series Our House.
Famous for playing Elaine in the film The Graduate, Katharine Ross’s performance earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. The Golden Globe-winning actor got her start in television Westerns before going on to films including Shenandoah, Games, Hellfighters, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, The Stepford Wives and Donnie Darko. She won a BAFTA for Best Actress for her work in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Love Letters starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 16, in the Strings Music Pavilion. Reserved seating tickets start at $32 and are available at Strings Music Festival (970-879-5056 x105, www.stringsmusicfestival.com or the box office).