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Tidewater Stage Presents Barefoot in the Park

By Amanda Morad | August 2, 2013

Lynn Kenny and Eric Harrell as Corie and Paul Batter. Barefoot in the Park opens Friday, Aug. 2.
Photo by David Polston

Anyone who's been married knows the days and months following the wedding can be the most awkward and the most fun. Such is the case for characters Paul and Corie Bratter in Barefoot in the Park, presented by Tidewater Stage at Regent University.

The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2. Buy tickets at the Box Office.

Newlyweds in every sense of the word, the Bratters are a classic case of "opposites attract." He's a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and she's a free spirit always looking for the latest kick. After a six-day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie's mother and decide to play Cupid during a dinner with their oddball neighbor, Velasco. Everything that can go wrong, does.

But the drama is less in their matchmaking skills than in their naivety about each other, as they learn to navigate a new life with someone they just don't "get."

"What's great about the play, even though it's set in the 60s, is that it's completely universal," said guest director, Marianne Savell. "What does it mean to let someone be who they are and love them anyway? And what does it take for two people who are very different to be together?"

Barefoot in the Park runs August 2-4 and 9-11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre with weekend matinees at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available through the Box Office.

Written by Neil Simon, the play is set in a cramped urban apartment with a cast of quirky characters and a 60s-sitcom style dialog that guarantees a belly laugh. The New York Times calls it "rib-tickling."

"There's a certain sensibility in the way the comedy is done that you just kind of have to embrace," Savell explained.

Savell comes to Tidewater Stage from Belhaven University where she currently serves as an assistant professor. She is also an associate artist with Taproot Theatre Company in Seattle and has served on the advisory board for Provision Theater Company in Chicago. Her award-winning professional credits as a director and actress have taken her from coast to coast. Previously, she directed Dancing at Lughnasa, Our Town and Beau Jest with Regent University Theatre.

"We are thrilled to have a director of Marianne's caliber join our company," said Tidewater Stage's producing artistic director, Eric Harrell. "Her impressive resume and critically-acclaimed work in Los Angeles and Chicago typify the standards of excellence to which Tidewater Stage subscribes."

Harrell also stars in the play as Paul Bratter, acting opposite a former MFA student of his, Lynn Kenny '06 (Communication & the Arts). "It's fun to see them working together again now that she's no longer a student but a peer," Savell noted. Kenny recently returned to the area from acting in New York.

In addition to being the only local professional theatre with a summer season, Tidewater Stage also gives Regent faculty members, many of them Equity actors, the chance to perform on a professional level in a local company.

Dr. Michael Hill-Kirkland, chair of Regent's theatre department; along with his wife, CJ, Regent Theatre's costume shop manager, also have roles in the play.

"Oftentimes real life couples may not have great chemistry on stage, but they have amazing chemistry," Savell explained. "I think the reason why is that they're so willing to be vulnerable with each other. They have a scene that is just beautiful."

Tidewater Stage opened its inaugural season this year with Forever Plaid, which sold out its run with rave reviews. Learn more about Tidewater Stage.

Buy tickets for Barefoot in the Park at the Box Office.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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