The Last of the Red Hot Lovers comes in hot at Walnut Street Theatre

-Brenda Hillegas
photo by Mark Garvin

From the second Scott Greer walks on stage as Barney Cashman in Neil Simon’s The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, you’ll find yourself smiling. It’s hard not to laugh at Barney’s attempts to cheat on his wife…in his mother’s apartment! The serious subject is quickly turned into a comedy as three women- played perfectly by Grace Gonglewski, Jessica Bedford, and Susan Riley Stevens- make him question what he is even doing! From funny one liners to quirky mannerisms, you’ll fall in love with the characters in this classic play in no time!

The Last of the Red Hot Lovers is a dialogue driven play, and though I find myself at the theatre multiple times a month (sometimes even a week), I’m still constantly impressed at how stage actors- shoutout to the incredible performers in the Philadelphia arts scene- say their lines without taking a beat and make us forget they aren’t really the person they’re playing on stage. After just witnessing Greer in the one-man Every Brilliant Thing at Arden Theatre Company, I knew he’d be perfect as Barney. He captivates the audience in no time. Bedford, as Bobbi, does the same with the way she emerges herself into the set and her character’s words.

I’m not sure if it’s Neil Simon’s script itself or just how in-tune the cast members are with the respective characters; either way, you’ll feel like you’re back in the ’60s watching an old, black and white sitcom that was recorded in front of a live studio audience. They’ll transport you to another time. And so will the set itself. The 1960s vintage vibe on stage is gorgeous, thanks to Scenic Designer Brian Froonjian. I spent half the show dreaming of a life in Manhattan, inside this apartment!

Escape to Barney’s world and watch him fumble through his failed attempts at seduction! And tell your friends to come too. For more info, visit http://www.walnutstreettheatre.org.

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