- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 01 February 2017
- Written by PRESS RELEASE
The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are now on sale for Neil Si-mon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers, scheduled for the evening of Feb. 16 as part of the Win-ter/Spring Performing Arts Series of events.
Presented inside Pollak, the 7:30 p.m. show brings the assembled talents of Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre — America’s longest established stage company, founded in 1808 — to the flagship auditorium of the Monmouth campus. It’s a welcome engagement by the troupe that brought Eugene O’Neill’s Moon for the Misbegotten to Manasquan’s Algonquin Theatre last year — and with the Pollak’s newly enlarged performance area, improved sight lines and nearly 700 new seats, the stage is set for a fresh and funny look at a classic comedy from the era of “Mad Men” mores and manners.
The playwright who created Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple had entered the prime of his career when Last of the Red Hot Lovers opened on Broadway in 1969, during a time of fast-changing attitudes toward sex, gender roles and monogamy. The so-called ‘sexual revolution’ is very much on the mind of Barney Cashman, the play’s central character and a middle-aged, married man who yearns to get in touch with his long-suppressed “swinger” side.
Cashman’s adventures in adultery are doomed to comical complication goes without saying, as his trysts with a trio of potential conquests — hard-drinking free spirit Elaine, addled actress Bobbi, and moraliz-ing Jeannette — form the basis of an intimately scaled favorite that’s long been a mainstay of the nation’s dinner theaters and community playhouses (and which hit the silver screen in a 1972 release that starred Alan Arkin).
The Walnut Street production of Lovers reclaims ‘Doc’ Simon’s Tony-nominated script from amateur-hour exile, in a professional staging under the direction of Adam Immerwahr. It’s a tour stop for the show that plays at the company’s Independence Studio On 3 between Jan. 10 and Feb. 5, and it stars Walnut Street regular Fran Prisco as Cashman, with fellow Equity pro Karen Peakes appear-ing as all three of the “other” women in Cashman’s life.
A time capsule from an era when Americans of all ages obsessed over which side of the cultural chasm they were on, Simon’s play reinforces the fact that nothing, not even “free love,” comes without a (frequently comical) cost. In the expert hands of Walnut Street Theatre, it’s a show that invites the audience to “fall in love all over again” with The Last of the Red Hot Lovers.
Tickets for the Feb. 16 presentation of Last of the Red Hot Lovers are priced at $35 and $50, with reservations available through the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/arts.
Tickets for other upcoming Performing Arts events — including Koresh Dance (Feb. 18) and Sweet Hon-ey in the Rock (Feb. 24) — are also on sale now. To schedule interviews, please contact Kelly Barratt at 732-263-5114.