Barefoot in the Park
Montana Repertory Theatre presents
Barefoot in the Park
Saturday, March 4, 2017 – 8pm
Barefoot in the Park is a romantic comedy by Neil Simon. The play premiered on Broadway in 1963 and starred Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley. The play was made into a film in 1967, also starring Redford, and Jane Fonda.
The play opened on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre on October 23, 1963 and closed on June 25, 1967 after 1,530 performances. This was Neil Simon’s longest-running hit, and the tenth longest-running non-musical play in Broadway history. Directed by Mike Nichols, the cast starred Elizabeth Ashley (Corie), Robert Redford (Paul), Mildred Natwick (Mrs. Banks), and Kurt Kasznar (Victor Velasco). The scenic design was by Oliver Smith, costumes by Donald Brooks and lighting by Jean Rosenthal. The play was nominated for three 1964 Tony Awards, and Mike Nichols won the award for Best Director (Dramatic).
Myrna Loy starred in the national tour during the time the play was still on Broadway.
A revival opened on Broadway at the Cort Theater on February 16, 2006 and closed on May 21, 2006 after 109 performances. The cast included Amanda Peet (Corie), Patrick Wilson (Paul), Jill Clayburgh (Mrs. Banks), and Tony Roberts (Victor). The revival was directed by Scott Elliott.
A revival production toured the United Kingdom in 2012. The cast included Maureen Lipman, Faye Castelow, Dominic Tighe, and Oliver Cotton. The play was directed by Lipman in partnership with Peter Cregeen.
Simon adapted his play for a 1967 feature film, starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, directed by Gene Saks.
A television series based on the play began on ABC in September 1970. It was an African-American situation comedy which ran for twelve weeks. The show featured Scoey Mitchell and Tracy Reed as a “young middle-class couple living in a New York City apartment and struggling through the first years of marriage.” This was one of two television series based on Neil Simon plays to debut on the network that month, the other being The Odd Couple.
A production of Barefoot in the Park ran at the Moore Theater in Seattle for one week in late 1981, which was taped for a made-for-TV movie by HBO. The play – and movie – starred Richard Thomas as Paul, Bess Armstrong as Corie, Barbara Barrie as Mrs. Banks, and Hans Conreid as Velasco. It was initially telecast in March 1982. The reviewer for UPI wrote: “Richard Thomas — light years removed from the John Boy image of his youth — is superb as Paul Bratter, the buttoned-down young lawyer struggling to come to terms with the elfin free spirit with whom he finds himself honeymooning. Bess Armstrong glows in the role of his wife, Corrie, but Barbara Barrie virtually walks away with the show as her bemused mother.”
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts