RUMFORD — Gail Parent and Jim Robertson, the local version of Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, will help bring “On Golden Pond” to life at 49 Franklin’s Mystic Theater this month.

Parent and Robertson have thrilled audiences at Rumford Association for the Advancement of the Performing Arts with theatrical productions and now they will do the same for Scot and Cindy Grassette’s 49 Franklin.

“Those two just have a certain chemistry, because they’ve worked together for so long,” Scot Grassette said, watching Parent and Robertson interacting and running through their lines at Wednesday night’s rehearsal.

“It’s the perfect couple for this play, ‘On Golden Pond.’ Jim plays Norman and Gail plays Ethel.”

Grassette spoke highly of RAAPA. He said RAAPA is letting 49 Franklin use its sets and Parent and Robertson.

“RAAPA is nice enough to let us use their flats, because they are for the advancement of the performing arts, and we try to work with each other and not have a production at the same time and competing for audience,” Grassette said.


RAAPA is supporting 49 Franklin’s and the Paper Moon Players’ production of “On Golden Pond” by sending 28 of its performers to the show on opening night. They will all sit in the same area.

“They come to support their own, so to speak,” Grassette said.

He said the version they’re producing is Ernest Thompson’s 1979 play, not the 1981 film version that was adapted from the play. Grassette said his wife and his brother, Keith A. Grassette, decided to do “On Golden Pond” as a summer production.

“It’s something we thought would be a good pick for the end of the summer and there’s plenty of ponds around and people relate to the movie,” he said. “The movie was shot in New Hampshire, but it takes place in Maine.”

Scot Grassette said his brother automatically thought of Parent and Robertson for the main characters. Parent was also 49 Franklin’s guest host at its last Friday Night Live, a highly successful takeoff on “Saturday Night Live” involving local humor and skits.

“They read for it and they were perfect,” Grassette said.


Lovable curmudgeon Norman Thayer is as tart-tongued as ever, Grassette said. His spirited wife, Ethel, delights in the small things that have enriched their lives. Together, they are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for their 48th year, and are soon visited by their estranged daughter, Chelsea, her uptight fiance and his rebellious teenage son.

Paper Moon Players has cast local Kristen Leclerc Guay as Chelsea. Other actors include Will Fortin as Billy, Chelsea’s precocious son; Scott Owings will play Billy Ray; and Dalson Walton will be Charlie Martin, the mailman.

“On Golden Pond” will be produced by Cindy and Scot Grassette and directed by Keith A. Grassette, assisted by Hope Fallon.

“I hope it gets good reviews in the first week and fills in the second week,” Scot Grassette said. “We expect it to be a pretty good show and one of the better productions we’ve done. I think the people are going to like it because it’s such an endearing movie from the 1980s and there were so many people who liked that movie, especially the Norman character.”

49 Franklin’s previous theatrical adult productions include “Steel Magnolias” and “The Odd Couple: Female Version.” They’ve also done theatrical shows for children around Christmas.

“On Golden Pond” is a heartwarming and humorous story about revisiting the past and forging new bonds across generations. The Academy Award-winning film version starred Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn, who both took home the Oscar for their efforts, as did Ernest Thompson for his screenplay.


“I never realized how many people loved that movie until we started doing it and people started telling me,” Grassette said. “It was so popular (back in the 1980s) that it’s almost like a flashback to come see it here live. And it’s such a natural fit for the River Valley area because it takes place in Maine and there are so many people with camps here.”

Artist Liz Murray will do artwork for the set.

Performances will be held at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Aug 22 and 23, and 29 and 30, in 49 Franklin’s Mystic Theater. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and pub food and drinks will be available for purchase. Tickets, which are already selling, are $15 and can be obtained in advance at Bartash’s in Rumford and All That Jazz in Mexico and online at

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