The Lyric Performing Arts Company’s summer production of the romantic comedy, “Barefoot in the Park,” opens Thursday for a five-performance run.
The play will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Friday and Sunday. All performances are at the Dorothy McIntosh Fine Arts Center at Brownwood High School. Tickets are available at the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce or can be ordered online at brownwoodlyrictheatre.com and will be available at the door, all for $10.
Larry Mathis, theater director at Brownwood High School, is directing the production.
Neil Simon, playwright for “Barefoot in the Park,” earned the 1967 Evening Star Award, which is said to have been inspired by the early days of his first marriage. “Barefoot” was Simon’s first major hit, but his third playwright effort.
Mathis, speaking at the Brownwood Kiwanis Club meeting Thursday, said Robert Redford played the role of Paul Bratter, the somewhat stuffy, newlywed attorney, and reprised the role in the movie, with Jane Fonda playing his wife, Corie, a far more spontaneous free spirit.
The LPAC production has Caitlyn Tidwell, Howard Payne graduate and theater director for Santa Anna High School, cast as Corie and Tyler Cureton, currently a student at Howard Payne, plays Paul Bratter.
“Caitlyn brings enormous energy to the show and is exceptional on stage,” Mathis said. “Paul is played with genuine honesty and comical success. Tyler’s done a good job with that.”
Patti Kilpatrick, a teacher with the Brownwood Independent School District, plays the doting mother-in-law. Other actors include Austin Bynum, as the eccentric neighbor Victor Velasco; Daniel K. Gonzales as the telephone repairman; and Nick Ewan as the delivery man.
The plot of the play revolves around Corie and Paul Bratter as they begin their married life in a minuscule fifth-floor apartment in downtown Manhattan. The couple must contend with many perils along the way, such as the lack of heat, a skylight with a gaping hole, Corie’s well-meaning mother and the treacherous five flights of stairs they must climb to reach their apartment.
“‘Barefoot’ is an exceptionally delightful play that transcends time periods,” Mathis said. “Though written in the early 60s, the plight of Paul and Corie is certainly as applicable for young couples today as it was then — and the comedy is something the no longer newly married can probably still laugh about.
“What I have tried to do with the play is draw the show closer to the present time so that certain frames of reference make sense. But it’s just a wonderful play. I know our audiences will enjoy the show.”