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Spend a charming evening going 'Barefoot in the Park'

Actors Theatre production charms with detailed sets, committed characters

Still in search of a fun way to spend your upcoming Valentine’s Day weekend? I highly recommend making a quick call and setting up a reservation to see the latest show from Sandy’s very own community theatre.

Last Sunday, Feb. 8, I went to Sandy Actors Theatre’s production of “Barefoot in the Park.” Although by myself, I enjoyed the play so much that my afternoon was reminiscent of the usual Sunday spent watching a favorite movie. Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: MICHAEL HENLEY - Brick Andrews, far left, Jim Bumgardner, Cheryl Nelson and Lisa Sorenson star in Sandy Actors Theatres production of Barefoot in the Park.

The play, which opened Friday, Feb. 6, stars Lisa Sorenson, as perky and adventurous Corie Bratter; Brick Andrews, as her realistic husband Paul Bratter; Cheryl Nelson, as Corie’s traditional mother; and Jim Bumgardner, as the eccentric upstairs neighbor Victor Velasco.

Steve Morris and Brian Leviel also make appearances as the telephone repairman and the deliveryman.

For Sorenson, Morris and Leviel, “Barefoot in the Park” was their first opportunity to act on the SAT stage. Leviel has worked as a crew member in the past, but this show was his acting debut.

I can’t say enough how much I adored this cast. All seven of Neil Simon’s characters were portrayed in a charming and engaging way. All of the actors were well rehearsed and ready to enchant the audience.

The story of the newlywed couple finding their way in their first apartment is universal. Nearly everyone was able to relate to plight of the couple dealing with the challenges of their first home and building a new relationship.

As always, Sandy Actors Theatre crew could not have constructed a more fitting set. Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: MICHAEL HENLEY - Sorenson and Andrews play the newlywed couple Corie and Paul Bratter.

Every season, the team astounds me with the way it's able to transform the tiny SAT space into whatever the newest project might call for.

With this particular show, it was all in the details.

From the backdrop of the city skyline behind the apartment’s skylight (complete with the hole the plot called for) to the giant law book at the back of the room in whose pages the man of the house keeps his ties neatly organized, everything seemed perfectly in place.

I even saw a crew member climb up on the ladder during a set change to turn the knob on the apartment’s radiator slightly to the left after Mr. Velasco gave Corie the tip during the previous act.

My hat’s off to you, sir.

The show did include some language and sexual suggestions, so I would suggest leaving your kids at home.

If I had to provide a less-than-positive note, I was a little confused by the intended time period during the first act of the play.

The character of Corie began the show flitting around her modern-looking apartment in an outfit I’ve seen many young women wearing around town, which set the scene for me as present-day.

However, when it was mentioned that Corie wanted Paul to pretend that they only pay $75 per month for their apartment instead of the actual $125 per month rent, I was slightly thrown off.Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: MICHAEL HENLEY - Sorenson, Bumgardner, as Victor Velasco, and Andrews keep audiences engaged and laughing.

But, I do think her outfits in the second and third act were more on par with a stay-at-home housewife at a time when rent in New York City was the same amount that I pay for Internet and electricity now.

That said, a fifth-floor walk-up in New York City with a separate bedroom, bathroom, a small kitchenette, wood-burning stove and a skylight — even if it does have a hole in it — for $125 a month? Sold.

“Barefoot in the Park” continues at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays until March 1.

Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 seniors and students and $10 for children.

For reservations call 503-668-6834 or visit sandyactorstheatre.org.

Sandy Actors Theatre is located at 39181 Pioneer Blvd.

On Saturday, Feb. 14, SAT will offer complementary champagne and chocolates between acts of its romantic comedy "Barefoot in the Park."

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