San Diego Theater Preview: LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS (North Coast Rep in Solana Beach)

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by Tony Frankel on August 30, 2017

in Theater-Los Angeles,Theater-Regional


Barney Cashman is a neurotic, shlubby, well-intentioned if somewhat misguided seafood restaurateur who feels his life and marriage have become too predictable, and attempts to spice both up with some hot action on the side. He sets up a makeshift bachelor pad at his ma’s place while she’s away doing volunteer work at the hospital.

Last of the Red Hot Lovers made its Broadway debut in 1969, when the wholesome ideals of the post-World War II generation bumped up against the proclivities of the Sexual Revolution. A then 42-year-old Neil Simon showed us what it was like to be caught between both worlds, giving us theater’s quintessential victim of midlife crisis, Barney Cashman.

Now, North Coast Rep will open its new season with this classic comedy, which plays September 6 through October 1, 2017.

Barney will make three attempts at seduction, only to learn that it is much more complicated and difficult than he could have imagined. The first, Elaine Navazio proves to be a foul-mouthed bundle of neuroses; Bobbi Michele is next, a 20-ish actress who’s too kooky by half; finally Jeanette Fisher, a gloomy, depressed housewife who happens to be married to Barney’s best friend.

Directed by Christopher Williams, the play will no doubt be less shocking today than it was in the early 70s, but it still highlights universal themes: the desire for human connections, marital struggles, lost opportunities, and fears of death. It does, however, remain very very funny.

photos by Aaron Rumley

Last of the Red Hot Lovers
North Coast Rep
987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach
Wed at 7; Thurs-Fri at 8; Sat at 2 & 8; Sun at 2 & 7
ends on October 1,2017
for tickets, call 858.481.1055
or visit North Coast Rep

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