SOAP LAKE — A classic play about a very young marriage comes to the Masquers stage next week. The curtain goes up on “Barefoot in the Park” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 and 17, 23 and 24, and March 2 and 3; matinees are at 2 p.m. Feb. 18 and 25, and March 4. The theater is located at 322 E. Main St., Soap Lake.
Director Justin Rowland said he would consider the target audience to be adults and youth 13 years of age and older.
Rowland is a big fan of “Barefoot in the Park,” and its author Neil Simon. “His shows are timeless,” Rowland said. “The man is just funny.”
Rowland said he usually doesn’t react when reading a play script, but “Barefoot in the Park” was different. “I laughed a lot.”
“Barefoot in the Park” follows four days of a brand-new marriage. Paul (Andrew Covarrubias in the Masquers production) and Corie (Emma Russell) are back from their honeymoon, setting up their first house – a fifth-floor walkup with a broken window and unreliable heat.
But the house isn’t as big a problem as the fact they haven’t quite worked how to live together. Paul is a little cautious, a little reserved, just starting his career as a lawyer. Corie is not cautious or reserved, and she wonders why Paul isn’t more like her. Of course Paul is wondering why Corie isn’t more like him.
“Every other line in a Neil Simon play is a joke, is a laugh,” said Cheri Barbre, longtime Masquers actor and director. Barbre plays Corie’s meddling mom.
Masquers has performed Neil Simon plays over the years, the last production about five or six years ago. But the company hasn’t performed “Barefoot in the Park” since – well, Rowland said he didn’t even know.
“1984,” Barbre said.
In that case, Rowland said, the last time the company performed the play “I was in kindergarten.”
Rowland said he’s been wanting to do the play for a couple of years, thinking it would be a good fit for the company. “I have a very, very funny and talented cast, so why not?”
“We have a cadre of seriously talented actors,” said Adam Zaleski, actor-director with the company.
Tickets are $14 general admission, $10 for seniors and students. They can be purchased through the Masquers website, www.masquers.com.
Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.