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Many thanks to all those who attended Barefoot in the Park. It was a great show with great audiences. More fabulous productions to come in 2011 including The Producers, Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, The Marvelous Wonderettes and Woman in Black.
The original Broadway production of this romantic comedy, written by Neil Simon and directed by Mike Nichols, opened October 23, 1963, with the four lead roles taken by actors Elizabeth Ashley (Corie), Robert Redford (Paul), Mildred Natwick (Mrs. Banks), and Kurt Kasznar (Victor Velasco). The play was nominated for three 1964 Tony Awards, and Mike Nichols won the trophy for Best Director (Dramatic). The show ran for 1530 performances, closing on June 25, 1967, making it Neil Simon’s longest-running hit, and the tenth longest-running non-musical play in Broadway history. Int. Paul and Corie Bratter are newlyweds in every sense of the word. He’s a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and she’s a free spirit always looking for the latest kick. Their new apartment is her most recent find-too expensive with bad plumbing and in need of a paint job. After a six day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie’s loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor-in-the-attic Velasco, where everything that can go wrong, does. Paul just doesn’t understand Corie, as she sees it. He’s too staid, too boring and she just wants him to be a little more spontaneous, running “barefoot in the park” would be a start… “A bubbling, rib-tickling comedy.” – The New York Times “Critic weeps joyfully…I don’t think anybody stopped laughing while the curtain was up last evening.” – New York Daily News
Barefoot in the Park is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Generously sponsored by: The Clark Group.
Photos courtesy of Anne Hudson.
Kathleen Mulready * (Corie Bratter)
Kathleen was last seen at the Ivoryton Playhouse in The Irish And How They Got That Way. Regional/Tour credits include: Finian’s Rainbow (Sharon), Beauty and the Beast (Babette), It’s a Wonderful Life (Mary Hatch), Evita (Mistress), Gulf View Drive (Treva), The Man Who Came to Dinner (June Stanley), The Vagina Monologues, The Golden Apple (Figurehead), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, They’re Playing Our Song, Oh Mr. Sousa (soloist). Kathleen holds a Master’s in Vocal Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory and a B.A in Music from Tufts University. Opera credits include La Fee in Cendrillon and the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel. kathleenmulready.com
Sean Patrick Hopkins * (Paul Bratter) Sean is excited to return to Ivoryton, having last performed at the Playhouse in the River Rep’s 2004 production of The Mikado. Credits include: Angels In America (Boston Theatre Works – Elliot Norton Award); Forever Plaid (California Musical Theatre & North Shore Music Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Hanover Theatre); As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing (Colonial Theatre); The Man Who Came To Dinner (Peterborough Players). Sean is currently involved in the development of the new musical Forever Dusty about the life of Dusty Springfield. Later this summer, he can be seen at the Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown, PA in productions of Ring of Fire and Boeing Boeing. Sean is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and graduate of Northeastern University. www.seanpatrickhopkins.com
Buzz Roddy * (Victor Velasco) Buzz last traipsed on this stage with his wife, Laurie Dawn, in Moon Over Buffalo. Recently he co-starred with R. Bruce Connelly in The Sunshine Boys and Mid-Life: The Crisis Musical at Seven Angels in Waterbury. Back home in NYC, Buzz is a frequent face Off-Broadway including Seeing Stars, Scandalous People and the long-running Perfect Crime. Selected appearances from around the country: Gypsy (Gateway Playhouse); Dracula (Delaware Theatre), The Oxford Roof Climber’s Rebellion (Capital Rep) and Noises Off (New Century Theatre). Film & TV: The Cowboy Way; Quick Change; The Taxman; 30 Rock; As The World Turns; the various Law And Order franchises and The Onion Sports Network on Comedy Central. Buzz has played many of the great theatres of Europe and has made his living variously as a juggler, a magician and has even done performance art with Yoko Ono. http://www.buzzroddy.com/
Katrina Ferguson * (Corie’s Mother, Mrs. Banks) This is Katrina’s first show at the Ivoryton Playhouse. Recently she was seen as Felicia Dantini in I Hate Hamlet at the Bickford Theatre in Morristown, NJ. Other favorite roles include: Josie in A Moon For The Misbegotton; Maureen in The Beauty Queen Of Leenane; Mary Stuart in Mary, Queen of Scots; Hedda in Hedda Gabler; Adriana in The Comedy Of Errors; Maggie Cutler in The Man Who Came To Dinner (with Bruce Connelly); and Mrs. Rogers in The Au Pair Man, among others. Katrina has spent nearly a year of Decembers in Europe on tour with A Christmas Carol (10 seasons) and was awarded Best Actress at the Dorset Theatre Festival in VT for her portrayal Eleanor of Aquitane in The Lion In Winter. Originally from Australia Katrina resides in Morristown, New Jersey with her husband and favorite actor J.C Hoyt. Proud member of Actors Equity. www.katrinaferguson.info
Tom Libonate (Telephone Repair Man) Tom is thrilled to be back on the Ivoryton Playhouse stage after appearing in last summer’s production of Arsenic and Old Lace as Teddy Brewster. He made his debut in Ivoryton in The Full Monty in 2009. Tom has appeared in Hartford Stage’s productions of To Kill a Mockingbird and Our Town, starring Matthew Modine and Hal Holbrook, respectively. Other favorite roles (all at TheatreWorks New Milford) include: David O. Selznick in Moonlight and Magnolias, P.C. Blunt in The Lying Kind, Thomas Hanlon in A Skull in Connemara, The Tutor in Medea, and Coleman Connor in The Lonesome West.
Dan Coyle (The Delivery Man) Dan Coyle has been in theater for over forty years and has acted with most of the community theater groups in CT. He is pleased and excited to be back here at the Ivoryton, having performed the part of George Sillers in the production of Inherit The Wind. The past two summers Dan has acted in two independent films by Big L Productions in Newington, Grandpa Is A Weirdo, in which he played Grandpa and the horror-thriller film Creepy Crawley which premiers June 19th at The Ridgefield Theater. Dan is also the producer/director /writer of the murder mystery group, Murderous Fun. He works part time at the Arts At The Capital Theater.
* Denotes Equity Member
Directed by: R. Bruce Connelly
Stage Manager: TRick Jones *
Set Design: Rachel Reynolds
Lighting Design: Aaron Bresky
Costume Design: Vivianne Lamb
Wig and Hair Design: Joel Silvestro
Sound Design: Jo Nazro
* member of Actors Equity
Neil Simon was born July 4, 1927 in The Bronx, New York City to Irving and Mamie Simon where he attended DeWitt Clinton High School. He briefly attended New York University from 1944 to 1945 and the University of Denver from 1945 to 1946.
Two years later, he quit his job as a mailroom clerk in the Warner Brothers offices in Manhattan to write radio and television scripts with his brother Danny Simon, including a tutelage under radio comedy legend Goodman Ace when Ace ran a short-lived writing workshop for CBS. Their revues for Camp Tamiment in Pennsylvania in the early 1950s caught the attention of Sid Caesar, who hired the duo for his popular TV comedy series Your Show of Shows. Simon later incorporated their experiences into his play Laughter on the 23rd Floor. His work won him two Emmy Award nominations and the appreciation of Phil Silvers, who hired him to write for his sitcom in 1959.
In 1961, Simon’s first Broadway play, Come Blow Your Horn, opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where it ran for 678 performances. Six weeks after its closing, his second production, the musical Little Me opened to mixed reviews. Although it failed to attract a large audience, it earned Simon his first Tony Award nomination.
Overall, he has garnered seventeen Tony nominations and won three. He also won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for the Drama Lost In Yonkers. In 1966 Simon had four shows running on Broadway at the same time: Sweet Charity, The Star-Spangled Girl, The Odd Couple, and Barefoot in the Park. His professional association with producer Emanuel Azenberg began with The Sunshine Boys in 1972 and continued with The Good Doctor, God’s Favorite, Chapter Two, They’re Playing Our Song, I Ought to Be in Pictures, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, Broadway Bound, Jake’s Women, The Goodbye Girl, and Laughter on the 23rd Floor, among others.
Simon also has written screenplays for more than twenty films. These include adaptations of his own plays as well as original work, including The Out-of-Towners, Murder by Death and The Goodbye Girl. He has received four Best Screenplay Academy Award nominations. Simon has been conferred with two honoris causa degrees; a Doctor of Humane Letters from Hofstra University and a Doctor of Laws from Williams College. He is the namesake of the legitimate Broadway theater the Neil Simon Theatre, formerly the Alvin Theatre, and an honorary member of the Walnut Street Theatre’s board of trustees.
Simon has been married five times, to dancer Joan Baim (1953-1973), actress Marsha Mason (1973-1981), twice to Diane Lander (1987-1988 and 1990-1998), and currently actress Elaine Joyce.
Congratulations to the Essex Community Fund for this successful fundraiser!
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The Shoreline Arts Alliance is a nonprofit 501 (c)3 organization that cultivates artistic activity of the highest caliber in the central Shoreline region of Connecticut by presenting performances by local, national and international artists; by sponsoring competitions and other activities to encourage and educate artists and arts participants of all ages; by assisting affiliated arts organizations; and by helping to build the infrastructure of the arts on the Shoreline.
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Ever wonder what it’s like to be an actor on stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse? All will be revealed as the talented cast of Barefoot in the Park take part in a special “Talk Back” event.
After the show on Thursday, June 16, the cast will join the audience to answer questions and tell stories about their life in the theatre. The Playhouse resident stage manager, TRick Jones, will be the evening’s moderator.
Love is in the air!
Barefoot in the Park
By Neil Simon
at the Ivoryton Playhouse
Ivoryton: June is the month for romance and weddings and the Ivoryton Playhouse is opening its summer season with one of the theatre’s sweetest odes to young love and commitment. The classic comedy, Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon, sparkles with lively wordplay and laughs as well as delightful characters who find joy amid inspired lunacy.
The original Broadway production, directed by Mike Nichols, opened October 23, 1963, with the four lead roles taken by actors Elizabeth Ashley (Corie), Robert Redford (Paul), Mildred Natwick (Mrs. Banks), and Kurt Kasznar (Victor Velasco). The play was nominated for three 1964 Tony Awards, and Mike Nichols won the award for Best Director. The show ran for 1530 performances, closing on June 25, 1967, making it Neil Simon’s longest-running hit, and the tenth longest-running non-musical play in Broadway history. But most people today would be more familiar with the movie starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.
Paul and Corie Bratter (Sean Patrick Hopkins* and Kathleen Mulready*) are newlyweds in every sense of the word. He’s a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and she’s a free spirit always looking for the latest kick. Their new apartment is her most recent find-too expensive with bad plumbing and in need of a paint job. After a six day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie’s loopy mother, (Katrina Ferguson*) and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor-in-the-attic, Velasco (Buzz Roddy*), where everything that can go wrong, does. Paul just doesn’t understand Corie, as she sees it. He’s too staid, too boring and she just wants him to be a little more spontaneous, running “barefoot in the park” would be a start.
The New York Times called it a “A bubbling, rib-tickling comedy”. It’s the perfect start of a summer of love in Connecticut!
Barefoot in the Park is directed by Bruce Connelly who was last seen here as P.T. Barnum in Barnum. Set Design is by Rachel Reynolds; Lighting Design by Aaron Bresky; Costume Design is by Vivianne Lamb.
Barefoot in the Park opens on June 8th and runs thru June 26th for 3 weeks. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.
Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)
The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.
Members of the press are welcome at any performance. Please call ahead for tickets.
*member of Actors Equity