Through May 21
BAREFOOT IN THE PARK Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre/Jewish Repertory Theatre
Some plays don’t age well.
Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park” is a good example, even if the Jewish Repertory Theatre and its cast is giving the show the old school try.
When the show opened, John F. Kennedy was president.
The show opened with Elizabeth Ashley and Robert Redford in the lead on Broadway.
The movie opened with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford.
If you have seen pictures of them recently, you can realize how long ago this all was.
As an example, newlyweds Corrie (Renee Landrigan) and Paul Bratter (Zak Ward) have just moved into a bare fifth floor walkup in Midtown Manhattan, after six days of honeymoon in The Plaza.
They have to climb a flight of stairs on the stoop, to get to the front door of the apartment building.
Now, the premise of this marriage is that Corrie will sit home during the day while Paul heads off to his new job as a newly minted lawyer.
Think about that in 2023.
Corrie’s widowed Mom (Christina Rausa) lives across the Hudson and is supplying the apartment’s furniture and supervising the wedding gifts until the apartment is furnished and ready to go, standard mother of the bride in 1963.
The apartment is that Hollywood mix of comic and multi-cultural and jokes about climbing endless steps and dealing with a problematic heating system.
There is even a running joke about the apartment landline phone.
The free-spirited Corrie collides with the apparatchik Paul and the marriage is troubled days after the “I do,” over the rules of the marital road.
It all blows up about the guy who lives one floor further up and doesn’t pay his rent, the world wise Victor Velasco (David Lundy) who is using their apartment to access the roof to climb up to his apartment, without the landlord knowing.
Mom and Victor wind up as an item when Mother knows she’s just supposed to be a widow, pondering the days of youth.
Oh, it’s comic enough, with an effective set from Chris Cavanagh.
Director Brian Cavanagh has a couple of strong performances, particularly Velasco.
“Barefoot in the Park” is entertaining, like those shows on some of the older streaming TV channels.
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