Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Red-Hot Lovers at ICCT

by Jen Gerbyshak (originally printed in the ICCT newsletter)

Iowa City - “And the good guy married the beautiful girl, and they all lived happily ever after.”

It’s the payoff we look for in a plethora of stories, and not just fairy tales. Just ask yourself what happened in the last 10 shows you went to see, live or at the movies. Nine times out of ten, it was either a happy ending just like the above, or it was a tear-jerker precisely because the good guy didn’t get the girl (or the girl didn’t get the good guy, depending on your point of view).

But inherent in that cinematic payoff is the idea that everything works out forever and ever after the guy and girl hook up. That after you’ve found your dream-spouse, it’s all easy sailing from there. Anyone who’s ever been in a long-term committed relationship knows better than that, of course. Even after “I do,” there are doubts, fears and conflicts. I know it. You know it.

Neil Simon knew it.

The nagging doubts and unresolved conflict inherent in a decades-long marriage are at the heart of his hilarious play Last of the Red-Hot Lovers. Barney Cashman, the protagonist, has been faithfully married to his high school sweetheart for over 20 years, but times have changed, and Barney wonders if he didn’t miss out on something by not playing around before settling down. His solution? Bring a string of three women to his mother’s empty apartment and have an affair—or at least try to!

Needless to say, things don’t work out quite the way Barney had envisioned, and much hilarity ensues. This is a Neil Simon script, for crying out loud. And ICC’s knock-out cast promises to deliver the laughs, with Josh Sazon as the neurotic Cashman, Paula Grady as the va-va-voom Elaine, K. Lindsay Eaves as the psychotic actress Bobbi and Carole Martin as the wife-next-door Jeannette. Each of these actors has proven themselves many times over on the stage, in roles ranging from Shakespeare to musical theater. Watching what these four performers bring to Red-Hot’s lovers is certain to be four kinds of crazy fun.

Join ICCT for Last of the Red-Hot Lovers October 21-23 & 28-30 at the Johnson County Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall. Friday and Saturday evening shows start at 7:30; Sunday matinees start at 2:00PM. Take this lesson from Barney, and don’t wait until the experience passes you by!

For tickets and more information, go here.

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