Jun 11, 2015

Pete and Lynne Simpson starring 'On Golden Pond' in Laramie

Everything has been turning up golden on the University of Wyoming Performing Arts Center stage in Laramie this week, as Pete and Lynne Simpson of Cody have been magical together in the lead roles of the Snowy Range Summer Theatre's lead-off production, “On Golden Pond.”

The play, written by Ernest Thompson and directed by Lee Hodgson, opened Tuesday night, the first in a five-night run that ends on Saturday.

For unabashed golden-agers Pete and Lynne Simpson, it was the latest in a long life of loving the theatre.

“We joke about it as our first annual swan song,” Pete laughed.

Pete and Lynne Simpson, as Norman and Ethel Thayer, delight in watching loons on the lake in a scene from ‘On Golden Pond’ performed Tuesday night. Cody News Co. photo by Dave Bonner

The demand of their roles is no joking matter.

“It’s a very large play, and we’re in all of it,” Pete noted.

Indeed they are, and they carried it off.

Rehearsals for the rest of the cast of seven began on June 1. For Pete and Lynne, they were there two weeks earlier to get into their roles, their only concession to age.

“We notice the energy is not as great,” Pete admitted. “That’s the way age works on you.”

Pete was endearing as the tart-tongued curmudgeon, Norman Thayer, in a Tuesday performance. Lynne, as his spirited wife, Ethel, skillfully managed life and family in this story of returning for the 48th year to their summer home on the lake, just as she has managed her real life zest for the stage.

“For Lynne, this is the first time in 40 years she has been able to just act,” Pete said. “She has always been the director or producer, too. She said it’s like being in summer acting camp.”

Pete makes no bones that theatre has been at the center of their life together.

“I had to court Lynne way out in New York City,” he said. She was in New York preparing for a career in the theatre.

“I borrowed $300 from Al (brother Al Simpson) and went out there,” he recalled. “When I left for home, we were engaged.”


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