When COVID-19 shuttered businesses and theatres in March of 2020, The Community Players of Concord, NH were in the midst of preparing the classic comedy, Neil Simon’s Barefoot In the Park. The show was supposed to be presented in May, 2020 as part of the group’s “all Neil Simon” 93rd season. Rehearsals were underway, the elaborate set nearly finished and costumes, props and set dressings were at the ready. And then everything stopped.
Now, after nearly 18 months of waiting, Barefoot In The Park will finally take the stage at the Concord City Auditorium on October 15-17, 2021 for what will be the Player’s first post-pandemic mainstage show. The large and beautiful set has been sitting idle at the Players Studio the entire time and if sets had feelings, this one would no doubt be as happy as the cast and crew to get back to rehearsals and then on to the Audi stage!
Co-directors John Conlon and Betty Lent lead a cast of six outstanding actors in this well-loved, romantic comedy – Simon’s longest running Broadway hit and the tenth-longest running non-musical play in Broadway history.
Griffen Stuart and Hannah McCauley play newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter, who have just moved into their first apartment, a tiny fifth-floor walk-up in a crumbling Manhattan brownstone. Although they are deeply in love, Paul and Corie are very different sorts of people … and their new home brings out those differences. Corie, a free-spirited optimist, is excited by the apartment’s possibilities. Paul, an uptight young lawyer, sees only its flaws – like the hole in the skylight and the leaky closet.
The couple’s life is complicated by the unexpected arrival of Corie’s mother (played by Jo Ann Kaplan), a lonely widow who seems to have nothing better to do than intrude on her daughter’s life. Hoping to give her mother something else to think about, Corie arranges an improbable blind date for her with their quirky, bohemian neighbor Victor Velasco (Players veteran Wallace J. Pineault). Chaos and comedy ensue because, while opposites may attract, adjustments may be needed to keep them together!
Rounding out the cast in exquisite comedic cameos are Kevin Guimond as a philosophical telephone repair man, and Pat Delzell as a hapless delivery person.
Director Conlon finds the heartwarming and funny show particularly appealing as a “show in time” – a glimpse back to the lifestyles and dreams of the late 50’s and early 60’s when a newlywed young couple like Paul and Corie knew what they wanted and optimistically pursued their dreams. “The show is almost like a valentine’s day card to the audience,” Conlon says, “particularly to those who are old enough to personally remember that time.”
Performances are Friday and Saturday, October 15 & 16 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, October 17 at 2:00 pm at the Concord City Auditorium, 2 Prince Street, Concord, NH. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for juniors age 17 and younger and seniors age 65 and over, all with a $2 per ticket discount for tickets purchased prior to October 13th. Tickets are available on-line at www.communityplayersofconcord.org or at the Audi box office. Box office hours are Wednesday through Friday, October 13-15, 4:30-7:30 pm, Saturday, October 16, 6:00-7:30 pm, and Sunday, October 17, 12:30-2:00 pm.
For further ticket information, contact David Murdo at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 344-4747. If you purchased tickets for the May, 2020 performance, you should have automatically received new tickets by mail around September 1st. If they have not arrived, please contact David Murdo.
COVID-19 safety notes: all members of the cast and crew of Barefoot In The Park are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and crew, ushers, and all other front of house volunteers will be wearing masks. Audience members are also asked to wear masks while inside the Audi for this show, regardless of vaccination status. If you forget to bring yours, one will gladly be provided to you at the door. If refreshments are served during intermission, audience members are asked to lower masks only while actively eating or drinking and to practice social distancing from people outside your household as much as possible.