Middle-aged and married, overworked and overweight, Barney Cashman wants to join the sexual revolution before it’s too late and arranges three seductions: the first, Elaine Navazio proves to be a foul-mouthed bundle of neuroses; Bobbi Michele is next, a 20-ish actress who’s too kooky by half; finally comes September and Jeanette Fisher, a gloomy, depressed housewife who happens to be married to Barney’s best friend.
The show runs 2 hours and 20 minutes including two ten minute intermissions.
Adult Tickets – $35
Student Tickets – $20
But Barney also has a problem. He’s bored. He’s grown tired of the stifling predictability of his life. He feels himself drifting headlong into late middle age, and he’s become convinced that he’s missing out on things. “Life has not only been very kind to me,” he complains, “it goes out of its way to ignore me!” After a lifetime of being the quintessential nice guy, Barney has had enough. He wants to live! After all, it’s the late 1960s in New York City. Why not dive head first into the sexual revolution bubbling around him and spice up his life a bit?
Barney decides have an affair.
This premise forms the basis of Neil Simon’s side-splitting comedy of marital mores, Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Barney, a loveable and fumbling nebbish, pursues his elusive goal despite the fact that he has no experience in adultery. We follow Barney as he takes part in a cascading series of comedic errors and miscalculations that could only be conceived by the brilliant mind of Neil Simon.
Last of the Red Hot Lovers makes it sweetly clear that sexual liberation is not nearly as easy – or as much fun – as it seems. Among the many problems confronting Barney is that he’s chosen his own mother’s small apartment as the secret hideaway for his trysts. Why there? Well, his own home is obviously out of the question, and he knows that his mother won’t be around the apartment while she’s doing volunteer work at a local hospital. But Barney knows that she definitely will be return at a certain time, so he must not only pursue his romances on a time schedule, but must also leave no trace of himself behind. (What could possibly go wrong?).
Barney’s first attempt at a “date” pairs him with the world-weary Elaine Navazio (Wendy Hayne), a married woman he met when she came to his restaurant as a customer. Elaine may be ready for a tryst, but how will her hard-boiled cynicism and caustic wit play off against Barney’s desire for emotional contact and conversational foreplay before getting down to business?
Bobbi Michele (Lara Dohner) is the next guest Barney invites up to his mother’s apartment. Bobbi is a young flower child of the sixties and an aspiring actress and singer. Barney met this vivacious hipster in the park, and she quickly proves to be quite a peculiar handful. After a few drinks – and more — this quirky young lady reveals a streak of paranoia that tests not only Barney’s fundamental good nature but also his commitment to living out his fantasies.
Barney also plays host to Jeanette Fisher (Whitney Minarik) in his secret hideaway. Jeanette turns out to be astonishingly melancholic, perhaps even clinically depressed. She may be present in body, but that body is clearly not the one Barney had in mind when he invited her up to his mom’s apartment!
Jeanette’s despondency is problematic in itself, but she brings even more baggage along with her. Not only does she know Barney and his wife… she’s his wife’s best friend. Will Barney rise to the occasion and bring some happiness into the life of this sad woman, or will the bubbles of his fantasy finally burst?
Directed by Josh Johnson
Stage Manager MJ Dougherty