Although some people would argue that romance started a slow and painful death with the advent of social media, baby boomers forget that the first shift in relationship dynamics happened during the sexual revolution of the late ‘60s. The urge to “find oneself,” mixed with a touch of activism and access to birth control completely reinvented the way men and women perceived sex and marriage. Which makes the play “Barefoot in The Park” so poignant today.
Set in midtown Manhattan in the late 1960s, the comedy revolves around the fleeting and relatively new relationship of Corie and Paul Bratter who have decided to get married and move in together after spending a week at the Plaza Hotel “plastering wallpaper all over the walls,” as they describe it.
The play begins as most relationships do, with the couple madly in love but ill- equipped for conflict resolution. The Bratters, ready to start their new life together but not quite sure how, begin to see their marriage slowly crumble and hilariously come to an unexpected crossroad.
Written by Neil Simon, the comedy premiered on Broadway in 1963 and starred Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley in the lead roles. Mike Nichols won the Tony Award for Best Director which began his meteoric rise into theatre and movie royalty.
Cast and crew
Prospect Playhouse members will be familiar with Neil Simon’s work having hosted his iconic comedy “Rumors” in 2012. “Barefoot in the Park” brings together some new and familiar faces on the Cayman acting scene. Liam Ochko and Laveda Thompson play the lead roles of Paul and Corie, while veterans Fay Anne Freitas and Michael McLaughlin play Ethel (Corie’s mum) and Victor (their nosy neighbor), respectively.
Ted Bilak makes his Cayman Drama Society acting debut playing a nostalgic telephone repair man. Paul Njoka sits in the director’s chair for his third play at the Prospect Playhouse, (he also directed 2012’s “Rumors” and 2014’s “Duets”) with the assistance of Erica Ebanks.
Prospect Playhouse Theatre manager Paul DeFreitas has overseen set design and build.
If you are looking for a lighthearted and fun night at the theater, book your tickets now for this show.
‘Barefoot in the Park’ opens on March 8 and runs for three weekends (Thurs – Sat) Visit www.cds.ky for info.