There’s nothing quite like the exhilaration of young love, new marriage, and your very own apartment five flights up in 1960’s New York City. After a breezy honeymoon, Paul and Corie Bratter settle down to some rocky happily-ever-aftering in the Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s upcoming production of Neil Simon’s romantic comedy BAREFOOT IN THE PARK. The show opens Friday, March 27, and runs through Sunday, April 19.
Simon’s second Broadway hit, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK opened in 1963 and ran for 1,530 performances, winning a Tony Award for director Mike Nichols. Heartfelt and hilarious, the play firmly established Simon as a master of comedy with his sharp wit, firm structure, and vivid characterizations of middle-class urban dwellers.
In 1967, BAREFOOT was adapted for the big screen, starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. It saw a successful Broadway revival in 2006. Simon died in 2018 with a well-earned reputation as America’s most commercially successful playwright.
Set in the 1960’s, the comedy follows a free-spirited bride and her buttoned-down groom who are newlyweds in every sense of the word. He’s a serious young lawyer and she’s an impulsive young housewife. After a six-day honeymoon at the Plaza Hotel, they settle down in a sparse apartment on the top floor of a New York City brownstone. (The exhausting stairs to the fifth-floor walkup are a running joke in the play.)
Corie thinks their tiny apartment is perfect, but with bad plumbing, a closet for a bedroom, a leak in the skylight, and an unexpected rooftop neighbor, anything that can go wrong invariably does.
When they get a surprise visit from Corie’s loopy mother, Corie decides to play matchmaker during a dinner with the eccentric neighbor, a scheme which Paul thinks is doomed from the start.
In the process, the newlyweds discover that marriage is no walk in the park. Corie wants Paul to be a little more spontaneous, and running “barefoot in the park” would be a start.
The Theatre Centre production features CTC newcomer Erin Skelley Holderman as Corie and Jerry Campbell as Paul. Julie Van Valkenburg portrays the well-meaning mother, James Lawson is the colorful neighbor in the attic, and Hayley Graham Duncan takes a comic turn as a telephone installer.
With a distinctly Sixties personality, the production will feature set design by Adam Miecielica and costume design by Scott Dunlap and Chelsea Weiss. Dunlap is also the director, and Angie Griffin is the stage manager.
Performances are March 27-28 at 8 p.m., March 29 at 2:30 p.m., April 2 at 7 p.m., April 3-4 at 8 p.m., April 5 at 2:30 p.m., April 16 at 7 p.m., April 17-18 at 8 p.m., and April 19 at 2:30 p.m. (No performances during the Easter holiday weekend.)
For tickets, call the CTC box office at 423-267-8534 or visit TheatreCentre.com.
Posted March 6, 2020