Grand Horizons Explores Long Term Relationships

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Grand Horizons Explores Long Term Relationships
GRAND HORIZONS BY BESS WOHL DIRECTED BY LEIGH SILVERMAN Jane Alexander, James Cromwell, Ashley Park, Michael Urie, Ben McKenzie, Pricilla Lopez, Maulik Pancholy. Photo: Joan Marcus

A universal theme that consistently resonates for theatre-goers is one that poses the question, “how does love survive through the years?” And, what do we have to do in a long term relationship to make it work? This concept is examined in the new play “Grand Horizons” brilliantly written by Bess Wohl. Over a carefully prepared lunch, Nancy tells her husband, Bill, she wants a divorce. Unmoved and unaffected, Bill simply agrees, as if he were concurring with his wife about choosing the color of paint for the kitchen. “Grand Horizons” has an all-star cast: Jane Alexander, James Cromwell, Priscilla Lopez, Ben McKenzie, Maulik Pancholy, Ashley Park and Michael Urie. It’s a fabulous ensemble with characters bearing witness to the flawed relationship of the elderly couple, who have spent a lifetime together, now in their twilight years, living empty, mundane lives.

Enter the couple’s family, two sons who are miles apart emotionally, and the pregnant therapist wife of one of the brothers. Michael Urie plays the gay brother, who realizes he is unable to connect with anyone, illustrated by an interlude with someone he met online that takes place at his parent’s house. The sons and daughter-in-law attempt to keep the parents together and challenge them to grow closer. During this process we see little issues in the son and daughter-in-law’s relationship who also end up examining their own marriage. In the midst of the parent’s breakup, Bill’s new girlfriend enters and is politely and respectfully greeted by wife Nancy.

“Grand Horizons” is a very funny play but also quite deep, because it takes us on a journey of discovery about why the parents drifted apart and questions why they even married. A lifetime passed and the dissatisfaction can no longer be denied.

Hilarious and poignant at the same time, “Grand Horizons“, beautifully directed by Leigh Silverman, is a satisfying night at the theatre.

For more theatre news and conversation, listen to “Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone” on WNYM Radio 9-10 Saturday morning and on podcast.

This Saturday, Valerie reveals her Valentine’s Day Gift Guide!


  • Five-time Billboard Award-winning media personality Valerie Smaldone is a theatre, food, lifestyle and entertainment enthusiast. She is a celebrity interviewer, accomplished voice-over artist and actress. Recent appearances on episodic tv include Law and Order, Criminal Intent, The Other Two (on HBO Max), Tommy, Manifest and Blue Bloods. She is an audiobook narrator and producer. A live event emcee, moderator, and "Voice of God" at events and award ceremonies, Valerie has joined The Story Plant Entertainment Company and is currently working on a film and Broadway play. Visit her website at

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