Corie Bratter is newly married and in love with everything—the backwards plumbing in her fifth-floor apartment (be sure to flush up), the hole in the skylight, the exorbitant rent, the lack of cups (old tin can, anyone?), and especially, especially her new phone (princess style, in beige, lights up). She's in love with it all for ten whole minutes, about the time it takes for hubby climb home with a promotion and a briefcase full of work and the honeymoon is so over, baby. The audience, however, is just about to fall madly in love with Distracted Globe's summer offering: Neil Simon's “Barefoot in the Park.” It's a buoyant party of a play—and a smashing way to spend a hot Greenville night.
Elizabeth Finley is a gas to watch as the flighty housewife, and her husband Paul is delivered up by Thomas Hudgins, a man fluent with the fumblings of the newly married man. Then there's the upstairs neighbor, the aged gourmet and womanizer from Eastern Europe—a hilarious role for Jayce T. Tromsness. Of course he's in love with the pretty young thing downstairs. Of course he's way more fun than the stuffed shirt of a lawyer husband, especially after said neighbor has downed a few ouzos. And of course, of course, Corie's mother is quite offended. Hurt, really. She needs to go home and give herself a Toni Home Permanent. (But actor Anne Tromsness is such a dear, you hope she'll keep dragging herself up those five--or is it six?--flights of stairs, for unannounced visits.)
Director Jennifer Goff has created an energetic and touching production, despite Simon's shopworn advice to the newly married woman (item #2: just stroke the male ego a bit, and you'll be fine). It's advice that (thankfully) gets lost in this kerfuffle of comedy, and the characters just might succeed in finding their own marital balance—but not before a few more gaffs pack the audience off laughing.
Be sure to drop in on Bratters while you can. Tell them I sent you. I promise, you won't have to climb six flights of stairs to get there, but if you did, it would definitely be worth it.
Neil Simon's “Barefoot in the Park,” directed by Jennifer Goff. Presented by The Distracted Globe Theatre Company at Warehouse Theatre, 37 Augusta St., Greenville (864) 235-6948. Through August 1. Tickets $7.50.