Michael Learned’s Front Porch Reflections

Sun, Mar 26, 2017

Michael Learned’s Front Porch Reflections

We are excited to announce a new show to The Waltons 45th Anniversary Reunion weekend as audiences will have the chance to attend "Michael Learned's Front Porch Reflections",  an inside look at the life of the four-time Emmy Award winning actress on Sunday March 26, 2017 during the 1pm-3pm matinee at the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, VA.

After performing on stage and in front of cameras for decades, Learned said this is a completely new realm for her, having always had a character to play. Now, it is a raw and revealing moment for the humble Broadway star.

“I was brought up in a family where it was bad form to talk about yourself,” Learned said. “I was a little hesitant at first but I think it will be entertaining for people.”

The show originally titled "In Conversations" debuted at the Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia, Canada was created by Michael Vanheavel and directed by David Hogan. Learned said they will wrap her personal story around the TV show that made her famous — The Waltons.

Hogan said Learned has such a broad spectrum of work, and as someone who has done it all, he wanted audiences to see the vastness of her life and career.

“I'm really excited for her to share her personal family stories – her boys adore her!” Hogan said, noting her sons were born in Canada before she was taken to California to to work on The Waltons. “She's so humorous, she's a storyteller, she should have a Ted talk – it's going to be totally engaging.”

Learned said when you're sitting around a dinner table it's one thing, but when people have paid money to come and hear your story, it can certainly cause some anxieties.

“There's no script – the script is my life. I've lived a lot of years and to try to condense 77 years into two hours, it's impossible,” she said. “What David and Michael have done, I'm so intensely grateful to them – they are setting up a scrapbook with bullet points and pictures that coincide with what's on the screen.”

The appearances will consist of film clips, photographs and storytelling. The audience will also have the chance to pose questions to Learned, so each occasion will take different turns in subject matter. The performance will be quite different, as it will be a back and forth with the audience.

Learned said she is most looking forward to talking about her children and husband, as well as Waltons co-star Ralph Waite, who she refers to as her spiritual husband. It will be a nice walk down memory lane.

“Those are fun, fond memories for me. And it will be interesting to see how an audience reacts,” she said. “I'm more nervous about this than anything, even though it sounds like it should be easy – even though I'm an actress I'm not an extrovert.”

Learned took a moment to reflect on her memory of character actor Jack Warden, who seemed to have an endless amount of stories in his prime.

“He used to tell all these wonderful stories, and I remember listening to him and wondering if I'll ever have stories,” she said. “Well now I do! So I'm going to share my story.”


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Design Visual
  • Doors

    12:30 PM
  • Show

    1:00 PM
  • Price

    Lower Auditorium
    $49.99 in advance
    $50.99 at the door
    Single Seat at 4 Person Mezzanine Table
    $44.99 in advance
    $45.99 at the door
    First Balcony
    $29.99 in advance
    $30.99 at the door


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