‘Barefoot in the Park’ offers viewers modern-day twist on classic relationships

Riko Pratt, Editor-in-Chief

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The Mesa College Theatre Company is at it again, this time with a very interesting twist. The first play of the spring semester will be Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park” which focuses on a newlywed couple who live together and must overcome their differences and ultimately hijinks ensue.
The play is meant to be a comedy touching upon the ups and downs of a new relationship. “Barefoot” is also one of Simon’s most successful plays to date. It was his longest running as well as the tenth longest-running non-musical play in Broadway history.
The play debuted on Oct. 23, 1963 and a few years later, it was adapted into a film with one of the actors being nominated for an Academy Award.
The main characters in the play, Corie and Paul Bratter are major opposites of each other. Paul is more proper and uptight, which clashes with Corie’s more free-spirited and carefree personality. The company figured out a new and exciting way to liven the characters for their production.
Brandon Hickman, a theater major and member of the theater company gave us the inside scoop on the supposed twist, “There will be four different casts. The traditional pairing of Corie and Paul, an inverted pairing with Paul becoming Paula and Corie being a male, as well as two same-sex couples.”
With the new couplings, the theatre department will show a fresh and diverse take on the play each night.
When asked about what she wanted the audience to get out of this production, Victoria Candelaria, another theater major who will portray Corie one of the nights of the play expressed “I hope they get a glimpse into a relationship that they can relate to because this couple goes through a lot and they realize that despite their differences, they can be together.”
When asked the same question, Hickman replied,” I think the message of the play is that we have all have people that we share things in common with but sometimes the person we need is not like us at all and complements the things we don’t have.”
Regarding anything other information from the play itself, the actors kept hush about certain details and alluded to something big happening at the end of the show.
The play will be performed in the Apolliad Theater, right here on the Mesa campus. It will run over two weekends, going March 4-6 and then again the next weekend of March 11-13. The Friday and Saturday shows will be at 8 pm and Sundays will be at 7pm.

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