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Opposites attract in 'Barefoot in the Park'
'Barefoot in the Park'
TIMES: 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 10
WHERE: The Acting Company, 815 B St., Yuba City
When it comes to relationships, sometimes opposites attract.
This is the premise of "Barefoot in the Park," the latest production at The Acting Company in Yuba City. The play begins its run on Friday.
Corie and Paul Bratter (played by Brenna Sartoris and Nathan Brick) are newly wed and have just moved into their first apartment in New York. The year is 1963. Corie is a free spirit. Paul is a more straight-laced lawyer.
The play takes place over four days, with Corie and Paul "contemplating if their differences are too much, so they spend a lot of the play fighting," said Carmen Smith, the play's director. Corie wants Paul to be as free-spirited as she is — such as, for example, by running barefoot in the park.
"This play is sort of a study on interpersonal relationships and how people can find that common ground," Smith said. "So even though it is a comedy and you're rolling laughing one minute, you'll be crying the next minute."
Neil Simon debuted "Barefoot in the Park" on Broadway in 1963. Mike Nichols was director, and Elizabeth Ashley and Robert Redford were Corie and Paul. Simon would, of course, explore the notion of opposites attracting two years later with "The Odd Couple."
In addition to Corie and Paul, the cast of characters also includes Corie's mother, Mrs. Ethel Banks (Fran Whittmann), Victor Velasco (Curt Schroeder) and the telephone repairman (Todd Duda).
"Barefoot" marks Schroeder's return to the stage for the first time in about 15 years, Smith said. "He suggested 'Barefoot' and also auditioned. ... It's great to have him back. He's been writing and directing, and would occasionally step into roles here and there. He felt that since he suggested (the play), he should try out as well."
The play has "so many universal truths to it," Smith said. "There are chances for people to connect with the mother-daughter relationship, the relationship between (Mrs. Banks) and Victor and the newlyweds trying to work things out themselves.
"So, even though you're laughing, there's a chance to analyze your own relationships and see how you can (apply) some of the lessons (the characters) are learning to your own life."
"Barefoot in the Park" runs to Feb. 10.
"People should come because it's a comedy, and there aren't many chances to see a Neil Simon classic," Smith said. "It's really funny. There are lots of opportunities to laugh."