Caity Brown (Corie) and Will MacLeod (Paul) in their apartment on the first night in rehearsal for the McLean Community Players production of “Barefoot.”
Photo by Toby Chieffo-Reidway/Courtesy of McLean Community Players
Where and When
McLean Community Players present “Barefoot in the Park” at the Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean. Performances: May 1-16. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2. Tickets $18-$20. Call 866-811-4111 or visit www.mcleanplayers....
Sweet innocence is arriving as “Barefoot in the Park” makes a rare appearance, courtesy of the McLean Community Players (MCP). Written by Neil Simon, one of America’s premiere comic writers, the play centers on an unlikely newlywed couple moving into a tiny fifth-floor walk-up apartment in New York City. The time is the warm days and nights in 1963.
Husband Paul (Will MacLeod) is a buttoned-down, straight-laced, 20-something lawyer. He is a “watcher.” Wife Corie (Caity Brown) is a free-spirit, open to experiencing the high-velocity freedoms of New York City. She is a “doer.” Are they a mismatch? Can they even agree on furnishings for their apartment? They certainly have much to learn about each other and about marriage.
The newlyweds are helped along the path of education and negotiation as a married couple by Corie’s intense, widowed Mom (Kim Thornley) who lives in near-by suburban New Jersey; and a kooky, bachelor Victor Velasco (John Geiger) their upstairs neighbor who must enter his apartment through theirs making for plenty of humorous situations.
“Barefoot” is directed by 30-year MCP veteran Jerry Bonnes. “Neil Simon is timeless. His comedy resonates with a sense that no matter how bad things seem at the beginning, there is a touching, warm light at the end,” said Bonnes.
For Brown, the role as Corie is a delight. “She is always trying to find ways to make her relationship with her new husband work, even if they are so different.” She also learns that within a marriage “things change all the time”.
As Paul, MacLeod has “a role with a wide range of emotions and plenty of funny dialogue.” Both Geiger and Thornley were in agreement that their roles are “delicious.” Both “love this production, It is a comic challenge with plenty of physical comedy including emotions without saying a word.”
The audience will also be treated to outfits of those times, the early 1960s, added Charlotte Franklin, MCP costumer. She is searching local Northern Virginia stores for just the right look for each of the characters. Stage manager Douglas F. Yriart indicated that the audience will also see a “wonderful set design” of an apartment that will change over time, along with a New York skyline and some special touches from set furniture “movers.”
Will the newlyweds learn to live together? Will they come to know how to walk “barefoot in the park?” Come and see.