Harris Yulin’s production of “A Trip to Bountiful” seems to be guaranteed success: Horton Foote’s historically popular play as performed by actors with impeccable resumes on an impressive, dynamic set. However, the show comes off as slick but ultimately irrelevant and obsolete. Foote’s story about an aging woman trying to get to her hometown before she dies gives far more material to the actors, who get to grapple with complex pathos at almost every moment, than to the audience, who end up with, for example, the woman in question giving away her wish from a falling star to a younger fellow-traveler whose husband is away at war. The play feels anachronistic and heavy-handed at almost every turn, and the actors, with little exception, do little to breathe life into it. For spectators who want the comfort of method acting taking on a mid-century meditation on the passing of time and the generation gap, “The Trip to Bountiful” will deliver, but anyone in search of brave, challenging theater will leave wondering wherein the bounty lies. (Monica Westin)
At the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, (312)443-3800. This production is now closed.