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Heart of 60s-era ‘Barefoot in the Park,’ says director Paula Keenan, is timeless


On stage in the Joan Jenks Auditorium at Golden Gate Community Center through April 10 is The Studio Players’ production of Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park.

Neil Simon was the Grand Master of American Comedy, says Studio Players’ Paula Keenan in her Director’s Notes for Barefoot in the Park, which is the fourth of his plays that she’s had the pleasure of directing. But she’s especially proud of Rosie DeLeon (Corie Bratter), John Strealy (Paul Bratter), Karen Ezrine (Corie’s mom), David Whalley (Velasco), Jay Terzis (Telephone Repairman) and Gregg Birr (Delivery Man) for bringing the swinging sixties to life with a vengeance.

“It was a simpler time, sans electronics but full of heart,” Keenan reminisces. “Paul gets ‘stoned,’ meaning drunk, and Mom plans to give herself a ‘Toni’ home permanent, both symbols of a bygone era.”

But the heart of the play is timeless, with newlyweds Corie and Paul trying to keep the passion alive that they discovered during their six-day honeymoon at The Plaza as they settle into their workaday lives. “They struggle with the vagaries of a challenging apartment and two diametrically opposed personalities,” Keenan adds. “We get to watch the fireworks explode in the fifth floor apartment of these young lovers.”

This is the seventh show Paula has directed for The Studio Players. Previously, she directed The Waverly Gallery, One Slight Hitch, The Cocktail Hour, Bakersfield Mist, Agnes of God and Over the River and Through the WoodsShe also directs for The Marco Players, where she just directed and acted in The Hallelujah Girls.

Paula has also appeared on stage for The Studio Players as Sonia in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

March 20, 2022

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