barefoot park 88.
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Barefoot in the Park
By Neil Simon
Beit Lessin Theater at ZOA House, Tel Aviv
Scottish-born director Leslie Lawton has revived this period piece with a magnetic and contemporary twist that makes it no less riveting than it was in the original 1963 New York production.
It is a tale of newlyweds starting a life in a new but battered ninth floor apartment that lacks, among other necessities, a working elevator.
As a result of a domestic tragedy, a tangle of relationships develops between the young couple, Paul and Cory, Cory's timid mother Mrs. Banks, and an eccentric neighbour, Victor Velasco. The plotline is accompanied by a non-stop ripple of crackling dialogue and comic physical complications.
With Yossi Ben Ari's compelling set and costumes, the roles, performed by an excellent cast, carry the play to hilarious heights. Sandra Sadeh is the engaging mother, Gadi Gil the voluble Velasco, Mordi Gershon the solid, stuffy lawyer husband, and Ruby Mosckovitch a dumb repair man. But it is Rama Messinger who steals the show with a superb performance as the zany bride Corrie. Her spirited style, volatile body language, marvellous facial mobility, and vocal energy, make for an inspired performance that soars above the casual bounds of simple entertainment.