The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


‘Barefoot in the Park’ doles out the charm

The season opener for Contemporary Theatre of Dallas is sweet, funny and full of heart.

Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park” is delightfully adorable and leaves the audience with an optimistic message.

The play opens at the beginning of Corie and Paul Bratter’s marriage, just after the honeymoon.

They have just moved into a less-than-perfect apartment and will soon discover that their marriage itself might be less-than-perfect.

The first act serves as the exposition for the second. Corie, played with an irresistable energy by Carrie Slaughter-Whittlesey, is the flighty, unpredictable, glass-half-full wife.

Will Christoferson’s drudging, by-the-book Paul makes them a balanced couple.

Then enter the truly amusing characters – Corie’s uptight mother Mrs. Banks (Marcia Carroll) and their eccentric upstairs neighbor Victor Velasco (John S. Davies).

 Invite the two of them to a dinner party, and the fun begins.

The first act of the play is short because the transition to the second requires the apartment to be completely furbished.

The second act is the mayhem that ensues around the dinner party.

The opposites in this play, between Corie and her mother, Corie and Paul, and Mrs. Banks and Velasco, are compressed like a spring until the end of the play in which everything is let loose.

Corie and Paul have the much-anticipated fight that seems destined for divorce and Mrs. Banks releases all restraint.

Every performance in this play is a must-see, as the entire cast plays their characters with heart and nearly perfect comic timing.

Dallas veterans Carroll and Davies may be the biggest reason to see this show. Mrs. Banks’ transformation throughout the play at the encouragement of Corie and Velasco is a riot to watch.

Carroll is hilarious, playing a character older than herself, but refusing to become a caricature—a challenge rarely accomplished by anyone other than Betty White from “The Golden Girls.”

Every joke she tells is delivered in a perfect Brooklyn accent and keeps the audience in stitches.

Davies plays Velasco with a somewhat insane magnetism that keeps the audience laughing from the minute he enters the stage.

Even Francis Henry, as the telephone repair man, adds energy to a play that is already spilling over at the edges.

Although Christoferson comes across as a little bit dry at first, when he gets drunk near the end he breaks out of his shell and is the perfect match for Slaughter-Whittlesey.

This is the perfect entrance into the Contemporary Theatre of Dallas’ ninth season, welcoming in a large audience base.

There’s something for everyone in this play, and if nothing else it’s just a whole lot of fun.

“Barefoot in the Park” runs through Nov. 21.

Students pay less at the Contemporary Theatre of Dallas.Tickets are a third of their normal price if you purchase a student rush ticket with your ID 15 minutes before curtain time.

For more information or to purchase tickets today, visit

Coming up next on their schedule, is David Sedaris’ one-man show “Santaland Diaries” adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello.

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