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Barefoot in the Park: A humorous glance at the 60s

    By Marthe Nymoen - Reporter. January 9, 2018 - 9:00 am

HPU freshmen Krista Angst and Cameron Zini played the lead roles as the newly
married couple, Corie and Paul Bratter. Photo by: Janine Meyers.

Neil Simon’s romantic comedy, “Barefoot in the Park”, was entertaining throughout every scene. The play was presented by the theater department at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU).

The Paul and Vi Loo Theatre was filled and ready for a play of humorous dialogue and witty characters on Nov. 17. HPU freshmen Krista Angst and Cameron Zini played the lead roles as the newly married couple, Corie and Paul. The cast included both students and professional actors.

The realistic approach to the play brings you back to when it was written, in 1967. One can still relate to the characters and their comedic relationships. The way of acting is somewhat of an exaggerated theatrical style, but Angst and Zini manage to bring depth and personality to their characters. Different levels allowed the actors ample space to let their characters truly shine. Director Eden Lee Murray uses a big window and the stairs up to Corie and Paul’s apartment to create great comedy that repeats with almost all of the characters.

The whole show takes place in Corie and Paul’s apartment, highlighting the set which goes along with the 60s style. It is a very proppy play, but it does not get in the way of smooth transitions.

Brought back memories

Lynn Albert Douglas was an attendee at the premiere of the original “Barefoot in the Park”, and for her, the play brought her back to her younger years. “It was a good production, and it brought back memories. It was set in time, and that was my time. I mean, that coat, I had a coat just like it,” Douglas said.

Last minute

Larry Bialock, who was supposed to play the central bi-role as Victor Velasco, had to cancel due to health reasons. University of Hawaii professor and professional actor, Paul T. Mitri, filled the role only a few days in advance.

Mitri saw it as a test to challenge his acting skills as he said, “It was a challenge to step in this late, but I wanted to help. I have done a lot of comedy and I teach this stuff, so also wanted to see if I still got it.”

A well-blown premiere

With good reasons, Angst and Zini were very happy with the overall performance on the premiere night. Angst explained, “The performance went well and it was a lot of fun.”

Murray agreed with them as she said, “I am so proud of my students. It is hard to play comedy, and if they can do this, they can do anything.”