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The Roads To Home

From 21 critic and 112 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Great writing, Slow, Absorbing, Entertaining

About the show

Primary Stages celebrates the centennial of late playwright Horton Foote's birth with a mounting of three interconnected shorts that probe the crises impacting three female friends in 1920s Houston. More…

In Foote's seriocomic triptych, a trio of women grapples with the eternal question, “Where is home?” This production offers a rare chance to experience a Foote gem not seen on the New York stage in over 25 years. Starring Tony winner Harriet Harris and the playwright's daughter, Hallie Foote, a celebrated interpreter of her late father’s work.

Lighting & Sound America

"Sometimes I think we have it all wrong when we call Horton Foote a playwright; really, he's a composer, wringing music both merry and melancholy from the everyday conversation of his characters...'The Roads to Home' is a minor work, a chamber piece in three movements, but it is no less resonant for all of that. Each scene is filled with Foote's acute understanding of these people; in his hands, the deeply ordinary seems extraordinary. And when his characters talk -- oh, the music they make!" Full Review

Magical MissTari Tour

"'The Roads to Home' is another gentle, truthful, funny, touching piece about family, memories, regret and home...Not much 'happens,' but we learn so much about these characters, about life, about ourselves, that it seems as if everything happens in the two hours we spend in Houston...I do love how Horton Foote wrote such amazingly realistic women, who are idiosyncratic and three-dimensional, and oh-so-relatable." Full Review

Show Buzz NYC

"Horton Foote is an exquisite, idiomatic chronicler of average people and their quiet, personal angst. 'The Roads to Home' is not quite three one-acts and not quite a full-length play...The entire cast is top-notch, the staging is spot-on and oh, my, those costumes are sweetly detailed. Even though the storytelling is not as complete as a full-length play, you can savor all the joys of Horton Foote’s unique voice in this evening of compelling, interlocking scenes." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“Hallie Foote’s sensitive, liltingly accented Mabel is absolutely lovely; you can practically touch the humanity of her concern for the neurotic Annie. Harriet Harris is perfectly cast as Vonnie, the aging belle whose marriage is cracking...Brooksher’s Annie is a moving study in psychological distress, especially luminous in act two...Home may be where the heart is, but the effort to recapture it, if only in memory, is nothing short of heartbreaking in ‘The Roads to Home.’” Full Review

Time Out New York

"Michael Wilson’s firm, translucent production hits the right notes of melancholy, dry humor and nostalgia we’ve come to expect from the author of 'The Trip to Bountiful' and 'The Orphans Home Cycle'...There are lovely performances by two great ladies of the stage: Hallie Foote and Harriet Harris...The final act, set in an Austin asylum where Annie has lost the narrative thread of her life, is both deeply sad and gently whimsical—a magic trick that only Horton could pull off." Full Review


"The plays by Horton Foote are often defined by how beautifully he addresses what may look on the surface as the sheer and utter banality of everyday reality. For that reason it is hard not to gush over 'The Roads to Home' which may not be in the top tier of his canon but is framed by a engaging serenity and a gentle touch of sadness...This lovely production has a sublime cast under the fine direction of Michael Wilson." Full Review

Village Voice

"Wilson, who has staged numerous Foote plays, handles this one with ease, adding in exactly enough bright color to cover the basic darkness. Abner and Hallie Foote fill their roles appealingly, while Harris demonstrates, triumphantly, that she can thrive as convincingly in naturalism as in the broader comedy of Broadway musicals...The performers' vivacity reinforces the paradox: Spacious, sunshiny, and seemingly ordinary, Foote's Texas is as spiritually dark as any Beckettian landscape." Full Review

Epoch Times

"Direction by Foote veteran Michael Wilson hits all the right notes, gently but surely. Hallie Foote appears to have made a career out of portraying her father’s characters, playing the younger roles when a younger actress. Unquestionably, she has done her father proud. Devon Abner, works in sync with her, making a most effective husband-and-wife team in life and in art. Broadway veteran Harriet Harris makes the most of Vonnie, infusing the role with verve and passion." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"These three stories relate to each other in powerful yet simple ways, with a thoughtfulness that is only amplified by the excellence of the performances. Directed by Michael Wilson, the actors’ moving performances make the play’s simple focus all the richer...Though small-town gossip can often come across as trivial, the show's domestic focus, captured perfectly in the beautiful set design, still feels very high-stakes as the two women struggle to keep their lives in order." Full Review


"Under the sensitive direction of Michael Wilson, the production is gorgeously designed and beautifully acted as the drama maintains a constant low boil...Theatergoers who live for sharp-tongued exchanges and explosive confrontations are likely to be underwhelmed by Foote's quietly tragic drama. But if you take the time to slow down and really listen, you're likely to find a vibrant epic within the subtext, a snapshot of a bygone age that still reflects our present condition." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"This play–essentially three interconnected one acts–isn’t exactly quintessential Foote. The comedy is not just more copious, but broader than usual, and the tragedy a little deeper. It’s a testament to director Michael Wilson (a specialist in Foote’s work) and the excellent ensemble he has assembled that this piece not just coheres, but tickles the funny bone and touches the heart...While hardly in the same league as Foote’s masterworks, it’s definitely a journey worth taking." Full Review


"Few male playwrights can match Horton Foote for the women he sparked to life...In truth, little happens in the way of plot in 'The Roads To Home,' and yet Michael Wilson has staged the show with such truthful economy of emotion that every moment rings true and cuts deep. Which is how it goes with the fine, rich work of Horton Foote. From Hallie Foote we expect such subtle realism; the surprise is Harris, usually in broader form as a nasty wit but here less wicked than desperate." Full Review

Front Row Center

"A poem for all of us to keep in our pockets and carry with us…Hallie Foote and Harriet Harris are a perfect pitch together. Rebecca Brooksher’s portrayal of Annie is a gentle portrait of a young woman’s inability to hang on to sanity…The play is all about those remembrances. The past occupying each of the characters' lives much more than the present. Home is where they came from, not where they are." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Time seems to move more slowly while you're watching a Foote play, and I mean that as a compliment...'The Roads to Home' is less concerned with plot, of which there isn't much, than with subtle character revelations. The quiet direction by Foote veteran Wilson enhances the cozy intimacy, as do the ensemble's excellent performances...This evening of one-acts is a minor effort...But it offers enough subtle pleasures to infuse us with the warm feeling that we indeed can go home again." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"Under Michael Wilson’s discerning direction, Hallie Foote and Harriet Harris are magnificent playing off one another’s enormous talents...The third short play (Act Two) is disappointing after the high energy and delicious plots driven by the characters and conflicts in the first two short plays...'The Roads to Home' challenges the conventional wisdom surrounding the concept of home and raises enduring questions about the roads that lead us there." Full Review

Theater In The Now

"It’s naturalism at its finest…Yet nothing truly happens. And that’s ok. That’s what this play is. An examination. To alleviate monotony, Wilson heightened the comedy, as best he could...The pacing left much to be desired though it helped tap into the honesty of Foote’s characters…Its perception is bound to be split. To some, it will be charming and resonate. To others, it will feel slow and dated. And that’s just how it is. ‘The Roads to Home’ is what it is." Full Review

The New York Times

"This loose-jointed triptych hardly ranks among Foote’s finest work...'The Roads to Home' lacks the seamlessness of Foote at his best; often, its dialogue seems not woven but nailed together. But for a Southern boy like me, the sound of Ms. Foote and Harriet Harris rattling a home-baked treat too delicious to miss...Foote and Harris surf their characters’ streams of consciousness with a virtuosic lack of self-consciousness, giving equal weight to the trivial and the tragic." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"Really three short plays woven together, we get glimpses of moments in these characters' lives, but not a complete play...Hallie Foote is wonderful. It’s almost as if she knew exactly what her father wanted and seamlessly brings it to life...Directed by Michael Wilson, 'The Roads to Home' becomes a foretelling into what life was like and how easy it can all fall apart. Though the play does not quite gel, it’s as if moments are what makes a life." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"It's as fiercely magical and fiendishly funny as it is chilling in its projection of the ultimate in 'you can't go home again' moralizing, thanks in large part to the presence of Hallie Foote...She effortlessly conveys the dying light and dimming beauty that describe Mabel's own fragile and tragic state. It's sumptuous work that, except for Abner, is not matched by other members of the company...Wilson's direction is focused but soft, and could be paced just a bit quicker." Full Review

Reviews Off Broadway

"Beautifully brought to life by three outstanding women – the men are very good, but given much less to do – the play speaks of a longing of the memory of home, regardless of the reality....'The Roads To Home' is a short piece, and played out leisurely, given full time to take root. I enjoyed it, even though I was a bit annoyed at the end while I watched it. In retrospect, I appreciate it much more...Michael Wilson did an excellent job with the direction and pace of the piece." Full Review

Bob's Theater Blog

"Some people find Hoote’s work too homespun, provincial or even corny. I am not one of them. He is adept in finding the universal in the particular. The production is top-notch...Director Michael Wilson once again demonstrates his affinity for the playwright’s work. The actors are very good. Hallie Foote was literally born to play the heroine in her father’s plays...If you appreciate Foote, you will be more than satisfied with your time spent at the Cherry Lane Theatre. " Full Review

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Masterful, Thought-provoking

See it if You truly love a well told story that resonates long after you've seen it. Great story,great performances and time period sets....

Don't see it if You are not interested in shows that touch the soul.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Delightful

See it if For an intimate drama with a bit of humor. The acting is incredible. Beautiful sets and lighting.

Don't see it if Drama about people in 1920s Texas talking about the lives and troubles is not your thing.

Charming, Must see, Profound, Great acting

See it if you're a Horton Foote, Hallie Foote &/or Harriet Harris fan. Moving and full of charm.

Don't see it if you want FLASH or POP or sexyness. I wish the 3rd part had the other characters from Parts 1 & 2 back.

Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if fan of horton foote and like multiple story lines

Don't see it if don't like plays dealing with mental issues and cheating spouses

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if really well acted, an excellent production of an old play

Don't see it if familiarize yourself a little with the playwright (at least read the bit in the program), context of his work helps understand the play

Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful

See it if you want to see a group of extremely talented actors taking on the work of a classic playwright

Don't see it if you are not a fan of Horton Foote or period pieces of any kind; you need a lot of action in the plays you see

Highly entertaining, Second-tier foote, Great acting, Masterful, Riveting

See it if you enjoy the plays of Horton Foote. This one is not in the league of "The Trip to Bountiful." Always great seeing Hallie Foote on stage.

Don't see it if you are not into character-driven plays. You need a lot of action in your plays.

Absorbing, Great writing, Masterful, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You like Horton Foote and his plays about Harrison TX.

Don't see it if You don't like plays about ordinary people.

Also Wonderful production of a wonderful play!

Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Classic

See it if you love Horton Foote or want to see some wonderful performances.

Don't see it if you don't like shows set in the past.

Enchanting, Great acting, Dated, Hilarious, Romantic

See it if you appreciate great chemistry between leading ladies, have a penchant for southern plays, or are fans of the Golden Age of cinema.

Don't see it if you don't like the sound of a southern dialect, are looking for something revolutionary and groundbreaking, or need a tidy ending.

Great writing, Masterful, Funny, Great staging, Exquisite

See it if you love the plays of Horton Foote and wish to see three exquisite, related, often hilarious (& sometimes heartbreaking) short plays.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy the minutia of small town gossip, family squabbles of fragile and over sensitive Southern personalities.

Also But I say this is the essence and joy of this master's playwriting and... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Must see

See it if You like Foote as well as Interesting staging and spot-on performances by the entire cast but especially Harriet Harris and Hallie Foote.

Don't see it if You are expecting a silly, laugh out loud comedy.

Masterful, Must see, Well acted

See it if You enjoy good theare with strong female leads

Don't see it if You only enjoy fluff pieces

Enchanting, Great acting

See it if you'd like a charming, period piece

Don't see it if you won't enjoy a play that's a bit sad in content

Delightful, Great acting, Slow

See it if You love Horton Foote, great acting and period pieces. Cherry lane theatre is a great small theatre.

Don't see it if You want a fast pace lively show. This can be slow at times. southern accents can get a little tedious at times. no refreshments at theatre

Great acting, Poignant, Deliberately paced, Classic horton foote

See it if you want to curl up with favorite characters/tropes, whose lives may be somewhat like yours, (or not.) Wonderful nuanced performances

Don't see it if You need a fight scene or tap number to be entertained. You've never seen a Horton Foote play...this isn't the one to start with.

Great writing, Touching, Funny, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you love Horton Foote and you have never seen this early play, acted with enormous skill by a cast including Hallie Foote and Harriet Harris

Don't see it if you like plays to be relentlessly full of dramatic events and are unable to appreciate the quiet revelation of lives as they happen.

Well-acted, Low key, Lapidary, Realistic, Slow-paced

See it if you want to see Hallie Foote and her colleagues give a master class in creating characters without much variation in dialogue

Don't see it if you want an action-packed evening or prefer belly laughs to smiles

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if You like Horton Foote plays and actress daughter. She is excellent. Funny and heartfelt. Three intertwined plays. Two are better than last.

Don't see it if You are bored by Foote characters from Texas in past times. About life, relationships, divorce and coping. Nothing happens but lots happens.

Also Harriet Harris wonderful. Worth seeing for the two women leads, Harrie... Read more Read less

Lovely staging of rarely produced foote, great acting, funny, touching, unapologetically dated

See it if for fine cast, especially Harriet Harris & fascinating Hallie Foote whose character may keep you company well after the performance ends

Don't see it if you want action &resolutions; you may find yourself unexpectedly haunted by heartbreak, dislocation, disorientation lurking beneath chatter

Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Intense

See it if Horton Foote plays with Hallie Foote in it are rare gems. Harriet Harris also shines in this very sad play. Loved the southern Texas themes.

Don't see it if you don't want to think and feel things.

Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if Insightful and sensitive play, fine acting especially substitute Mary Bacon. First act a bit too long but touching and both excellent.

Don't see it if If you are not interested in the probing of real human emotions.

Dated, Thought-provoking, Intense, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you like the writing of Foote. And, reaching into the past wth everyday people exchanging gossip along with their daily routine of life.

Don't see it if Three disjointed plays molded into one is not something you have patience for nor want to spend time sitting through.

Sweet,charming, insightful

See it if You love entering Horton Foote's world and want Hallie Foote to guide you there. Sign me up every time.

Don't see it if You only like theater that is edgy, fast paced, or sexy.

Entertaining, Good acting, Disappointing, Intelligent, Slow

See it if you like quality acting; you want insight into a day in the life of small town living, as seen through the eyes of Horton Foote.

Don't see it if you are expecting to see one of Horton Foote's more absorbing plays, or you want a play with a knock out punch.

Cast & Creatives (13)