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Kelsey Theatre to present Simon’s ‘Last of The Red Hot Lovers’

The Yardley Players’ production of “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” takes personal desperation and hilarity to an entirely new level when married, middle-aged and nebbishy Barney Cashman, a seafood restaurant owner, tests out his inner Don Juan.

The Neil Simon classic will take the stage at the Kelsey Theatre at Mercer County Community College, West Windsor, Feb. 14-23.

The story takes place in New York City in the non-tech 1960s during an era devoid of personal computers, cell phones, texting or social media — when sexual exploration is all the rage, according to a press release.

Eager to participate in the revolution, 47-year-old Barney — a decent man experiencing a mid-life crisis — tries everything in his power to get in on the action before it’s too late.

A gentle soul, Cashman fumbles and flounders his way through a series of afternoon encounters with three different women, and painfully fails with each.

Simon’s “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” premiered on Broadway in December 1969. Already a celebrated playwright, Simon’s prior successes included “Barefoot in the Park” in 1963 and “The Odd Couple” in 1964.

By the end of his career, Simon’s life’s work consisted of more than 30 plays with just as many movie screenplays. Simon has garnered more combined Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer, according to the press release.

In 1969, Clive Barnes in his review of the original Broadway production in The New York Times, concisely described the show’s fine balance between drama and comedy, writing, “… There is the dimension of humanity to its humor so that you can love it as well as laugh at it.”

Producers Dan Mucha and Marge Swider bring “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” to the Kelsey Theatre with director Liz Wurtz and stage manager Tristan Takacs.

The cast includes Kurt Penney of Pennington as Barney, Monique Beasley of Trenton as Elaine, Laurel Collins of Newtown, Pa., as Jeanette, and Erin Wurtz of Levittown, Pa., as Bobbi.

Performance dates are Feb. 14 at 8 p.m., Feb. 15 at 8 p.m., Feb. 16 at 2 p.m., Feb. 21 at 8 p.m., Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 23 at 2 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased at KelseyTheatre.org or by calling 609-570-3333. Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for seniors and students. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible. Free parking is available next to the theater.

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