Theater — Valley Rep upcoming play a comedy, playing on polar opposite newlyweds life

To match the sunny skies of spring, the latest Valley Repertory Theatre play is a comedy. And a witty one at that.

“It’s kind of a one liner play,” said director Stephen Pick. “(In ‘Barefoot in the Park’) there’s a young couple, newlyweds, just getting back to their apartment from a weeklong honeymoon, ready to start life.”

But the characters, Corie and Paul, couldn’t be more different.

“You’ve got Corie, who’s very whimsical and just loves life, then Paul who’s a lawyer, very rigid, very logical and practical,” Pick said. by: GARY ALLEN - True comedy - Michael O'Neill (‘Victor Velasco') and Carol Holden (‘Ethel') rehearse for Valley Repertory Theatre's production of ‘Barefoot in the Park,' set to open May 8.

The play takes place during the first few days of their marriage, in their “crummy New York apartment.”

“It’s very funny, every third line is a joke,” he said. Written by Neil Simon, he said that’s one of the reasons he selected the play for VRT. “I’ve wanted to direct this play for a long time. It’s one that’s pretty familiar to a lot of theater goers — it was made into a movie with Robert Redford — we knew it would be really well received in the community. Plus it’s just super fun to work on.”

Produced originally in the 1970s, Pick said the play will be a step back in time.

“We’ve got the hair, we’ve got the costumes and everything that’s fun from that time,” he said.

Perhaps one of his favorite bits involves getting to the apartment itself.

“One of the fun things about the play is it’s really just a crummy apartment and everyone sees that except Corrie. She thinks it’s charming, full of color, but everything is breaking and it’s also six flights up,” Pick said. “So everyone who comes to visit her comes in breathing heavy. It’s a fun shtick as well.”

The play opens May 8 and Pick said it’s perfect for anyone looking for a lighthearted, entertaining evening.

“We definitely chose this for spring specifically because it’s just more of a happy time,” he said. “People are ready to laugh a bit and get away from winter. It’s a great way to do that and break up the mundane.”

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