The Old Friends Show Poster

The Old Friends Critics’ Reviews

Matriarch Mamie Borden and the remaining members of two longtime Texas farming families are awaiting a visit from Mamie’s son Hugo and his wife Sybil. When Sybil arrives with alarming news, old friends on opposing sides must confront the issues surrounding legacy, loyalty and the meaning of happiness that have hounded them for generations.

Show Overview

About The Old Friends

What Is the Story of The Old Friends?
Set in Texas in 1965, The Old Friends tells the story of two well-to-do farming families who have gathered at elderly matriarch Mamie Borden’s house to welcome her son Hugo and daughter-in-law Sybil back from Venezuela. Rich socialite Gertrude Hayhurst Sylvester Ratliff and her new husband Howard are among the guests, but Gertrude is more interested in having a drink at the party next door than waiting for Hugo and Sybil. When Sybil finally arrives, alone, she reveals distressing news and announces that she’s moving back home. As she makes arrangements to rent a house from Gertrude, Sybil reconnects with Howard, who is her ex-fiance. Sybil finds solace in Howard’s friendship, but Gertrude begins to act out, making life increasingly difficult for Sybil. As Gertrude and Sybil argue, generations of family feuds, disagreements and resentments rise to the surface.


Critics’ Reviews (4)
A collection of our favorite reviews from professional news sources.

"Receiving its world premiere four years after the playwright’s death, Horton Foote’s 'The Old Friends' is receiving a sterling production by the Signature Theatre Company that would surely have pleased the author of such classics as 'The Trip to Bountiful' and 'The Orphans’ Home Cycle.'"

The Hollywood Reporter

Frank Scheck

"Director Michael Wilson, a seasoned Foote interpreter represented on Broadway with 'The Trip to Bountiful,' guides his starry cast with a sure hand. The production design is rich in handsome period details."

The New York Daily News

Joe Dziemianowicz

"Betty Buckley, finally back with a character worthy of her, is wonderful as the rich, monstrous widow, matched greed for grasping greed by Veanne Cox."


Betty Buckley

"[Lois] Smith, who was sublime in the 2005 Signature production of 'Bountiful,' gives us a heartbreakingly tentative Mamie, made wary by loss and rejection and all too aware of the waiting grave."

The New York Times

Ben Brantley

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