Flight, n.

Gaslight Dinner Theatre presents Neil Simon’s ‘Barefoot in the Park’

Release Date: 12/22/2003. Expired: 2/28/2004

Thirty years before Dharma and Greg got together for a hit sitcom, conservative young lawyer Paul and impulsive, free-spirited Corie entertained audiences as newlyweds in Neil Simon’s comedy Barefoot in the Park.

The Gaslight Dinner Theatre presents Simon’s classic play Feb. 6-28 with Pacer Harp directing and Jeff Clarke and Christina Byron in the lead roles. A buffet dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays with the show to follow at 7:30 p.m. Senior Lunch Matinees are at 12 p.m. each Friday.

Tickets for the evening shows are $27 per person while the senior matinees are $17. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (615)740-5570. Tickets go on sale Jan. 5 for the evening and matinee shows at The Renaissance Center box office in Dickson.

Barefoot in the Park debuted in the Biltmore Theatre in New York Oct. 23, 1963, and ran until June 25, 1967, for 1,530 shows. Robert Redford portrayed straight-arrow attorney Paul on Broadway and in the 1967 movie. Elizabeth Ashley was nominated for a Best Actress Tony for her role as the spontaneous Corie, while Jane Fonda starred opposite Redford in the film. Mike Nichols won the first of his six Tonys for Best Director with Barefoot in the Park.

“The laughs are non-stop as these two complete opposites try to adjust to life as husband and wife,” said Harp, managing director of the Gaslight Dinner Theatre at The Renaissance Center in Dickson. “Neil Simon has made a fabulous career out of plays and movies that allow us to laugh about people having to deal with people. From The Odd Couple and The Sunshine Boys to The Star-Spangled Girl and Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Simon puts his characters in real-life situations in which they are not only forced to address their differences but to find strength from their common bonds. And we get to watch this process and laugh along with it.”

After their whirlwind courtship, Paul and Corie begin their new life together in an unfurnished apartment on the top floor of a New York brownstone, which Corie has picked out and Paul sees for the first time on their return from the honeymoon. Paul is aghast to learn there is no elevator in the building and even more flabbergasted to discover no tub in the bathroom and a hole in the skylight over the living room.

On top of their own problems, the couple has to deal with Corie’s mother (played by Amy Arrington), who has taken up with a curious older gentleman. Mildred Natwick earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her part as Mrs. Banks in the movie version.

The trials and tribulations of the couple’s marital bliss come to a comic explosion when Paul refuses to join Corie for a barefoot walk through a snowy park.

The play received four Tony nominations and the movie garnered one Oscar nomination.

“Simon’s formula of bringing together people who are complete opposites and watching the comedic sparks fly has been a common theme in plays, movies and television,” Harp said. “From Barefoot in the Park to Dharma and Greg, these situations have been making us laugh for years and will continue to do so.”

For more information on the Gaslight Dinner Theatre production of Barefoot in the Park, call (615)740-5600. To purchase tickets call (615)740-5570.

The Renaissance Center is an arts and technology education and performing arts center at 855 Highway 46 South in Dickson, just 35 miles west of Nashville on Interstate 40 at exit 172.

Visit the Theatre page for more about community and professional theatre.

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