“Barefoot in the Park” brings new meaning to the phrase ‘the honeymoon phase is over’ in Binghamton University’s last studio show of the semester. Written by Neil Simon, and directed by Rachel Soto, “Barefoot in the Park” has performances this weekend May 10, 11 and May 12 all at 8 p.m. in the Gruber Theater.
The play tells the story of a young newlywed couple, Paul and Corie, who find life after their honeymoon to be more difficult than a walk in the park. As the get a glimpse of what the rest of their lives will be like, it seems their future will won’t be as easy as they thought, especially when they come back to a home with no furniture and a hole in the skylight.
“Barefoot in the Park” is Neil Simon’s longest-running hit, and the tenth longest-running non-musical play in Broadway history. A film was made in 1967 based on the play and starred Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. In addition there was a short-lived 1970’s sitcom made about the play as well.
Rachel Soto, a senior double-majoring in English and theater, has directed many studio show productions in the past. She explained how this show is a comedy with elements of farce, which require a lot of structure and specificity of movement, adding that everything and everyone on stage needs to operate like a machine.
“It’s the endearing story of a couple that has no idea what they are doing,” Soto said. “They have love, and they have troubles, and it’s hilarious to watch them try and balance the two.”
Jonathan Molyneaux, a junior majoring in theater who plays Paul, finds this production to be very different and challenging than the dramas he has performed in, in the past.
“This is my first leading role in a 3-act comedy, the rehearsal process has been stressful at times but worth it,” Molyneaux said. ” I’m learning so much about comedic timing and heightened emotions.”
The opening scene of Barefoot in the Park was the first scene Molyneaux acted in for a theater class at Binghamton University and what made him want to be a theater major.
Kaitlyn Brown, a graduate student studying theater, thinks people should come see the show because it is a fun, romantic comedy.
“My character, Corie, is important because her enthusiasm and adventurous spirit propels much of the action, as well as the conflict, in the play,” Brown said. “There are many very true-to-life moments as the couple learns what it means to commit to someone.
Soto is excited to watch her actors on stage getting the opportunity to present their work.
“I think she is very passionate about this project,” Molyneaux said of Soto. “She is specific on what she wants to see, which is helpful for me as an actor.”
So come take a break from studying for your stressful finals and see “Barefoot in the Park” this weekend. The cast promises it will be an enjoyable study break. Tickets are $3 and are sold at the door.