Opening Night: The Trip To Bountiful at the Ahmanson Theatre

Cicely Tyson had so much fun at the show’s debut she had to be carried offstage


The excitement was palpable outside of the Ahmanson Theater on opening night of The Trip to Bountiful starring Blair Underwood, Vanessa Williams, and Cecily Tyson in her Tony Award winning turn as Mrs. Carrie Watts. Once the curtain rose, an enthusiastic audience clapped along as Tyson tried to make her way to her girlhood home of Bountiful despite the efforts of her son, Ludie (Underwood), and his overbearing wife, Jessie Mae (Williams). Before I knew it, the whole cast was taking bows to an immediate standing O. It was then that Underwood and Williams picked up Tyson under her arms and playfully carried her offstage.

Who was in the audience? Kate Burton, Dule Hill, Ben Vereen, Holland Taylor, and Underwood’s old L.A. Law cast mate Jimmy Smits. Then it was on to Chaya around 11 p.m. for the after party. Want to see an actress exuding so much joy that it fills an entire theater and beyond? Make the trip to see Bountiful before the show ends its run on November 2.

Photographs by Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging