Newlyweds Corie and Paul live five — or six, if you count the stoop — flights of stairs up in an aging New York City brownstone with a hole in the skylight, a neighbor who enjoys being eccentric, and plumbing that doesn’t quite work the way you’d expect it to.
If that sounds cozy and romantic to you, maybe you’re like Corie, a free spirit who’d enjoy sampling the exotic fare at an ethnic restaurant, getting up and dancing, or maybe running barefoot through a park.
On the other hand, if the tiny apartment sounds like a dreadful trial to you, maybe you’re more like Paul, an up-and-coming lawyer who’s suspicious of the crazy neighbor, leery about the “sheep dip” — or is it bean soup? — served at an Albanian restaurant on Staten Island and, as you might suspect, a little too circumspect to kick off his shoes and run barefoot through the snow with his wife.
The setting is ripe for conflict in Neil Simon’s Tony Award-winning romantic comedy “Barefoot in the Park,” which continues at Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre this weekend. But after the inevitable arguments between Corie and Paul, and a budding relationship between her mother, Ethel, and their neighbor, Victor, there will be some compromise.
“They really do love each other,” said Maureen Hozempa of Dallas, who plays Corie. “It turns out, Corie’s the ‘crazy’ Paul needs in his life, and Paul is the ‘structure’ Corie needs in hers.”
On the way to the characters’ realization of that truth, audiences can watch them get drunk on ouzo, talk divorce and even sing the Albanian equivalent of “Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don’t Care.”