The Los Angeles Times reports that Vanessa Williams and Cicely Tyson will reprise their roles as Jessie Mae Watts and Carrie Watts, respectively, in the L.A. production of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful. The pair will be joined by Blair Underwood who will play the role of Ludie, previously played by Cuba Gooding Jr. in New York. The three will take the stage at the Ahmanson Theatre for performances beginning on September 17. This comes after appearing in the Lifetime television remake of the play earlier this year.
The Trip to Bountiful, according to press notes from the television production which aired March 8, tells the story of “Carrie Watts (Tyson) [who]begrudgingly lives with her busy, overprotective son, Ludie (Underwood) and her snooty daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae (Williams). No longer able to drive and forbidden to travel alone, she wishes for freedom from the confines of the house and begs her son to take her on a visit to her hometown of Bountiful. When he refuses, Mrs. Watts is undeterred and makes an escape to the local bus station, where she befriends Thelma (Palmer), a young woman traveling home. When Ludie and Jessie Mae discover she is gone, they call in law enforcement to help, but Mrs. Watts is one step ahead of them and convinces the local sheriff to help her on her journey home to Bountiful.”
The Broadway production, directed by Michael Wilson, was nominated for four Tony Awards in the categories of Best Actress in a Play (Tyson), Best Featured Actress in a Play (Condola Rashad), Best Sound Design for a Play (John Gromada), and Best Revival of a Play. Tyson went on to win the Tony Award in her category for her role as Carrie Watts. She also won a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for the same role.