‘Red Hot’ Comedy in Poulsbo

Good times at the Jewel Box 7/19 for Neil Simon’s "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers." Funny play, good production, excellent acting all around.

Here are a few excerpts from the review posted at kitsapsun.com:


Barney Cashman has got to be the worst adulterer of all time.
But he just might also be the funniest. His feeble attempts at a midlife affair are the basis for Neil Simon’s “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” currently on offer at the Jewel Box Theatre.
Because its late-60s setting seems somewhat dated, the play doesn’t have some of the punch it might’ve had a few decades ago. But I’m still glad director Michael Payne chose to leave it there, without any attempts at updates or injections of new-millennium relevance, because this way Simon’s play, with its parade of jokes and sardonic one-liners, can be appreciated on its own merits.
So can the performances by Payne’s four actors, led by David Siskin in the by-necessity tour-de-force role of Barney.

Siskin skillfully lets us see both sides of Barney — the nebbish who worries that he might smell too much like the fish restaurant he runs, and the increasingly frustrated man-thing who wants to exercise what’s left of his testosterone before it’s too late. It’s a terrific performance of great humor, pathos, restraint … and let’s not forget vigor.
The three women with whom Barney so ineptly attempts hook-ups — the jaded sex addict Elaine, the freako lounge singer Bobbi (a fantastic local debut by Melissa Steele) and the damaged wife of his best friend, Jeanette (Michelle Peterson) — all are played with equal aplomb.

Largely, I found the production agreeable, the material sturdy (if dated) and the performances admirable — particularly the he-man outing by Siskin and the giddy local debut by Steele.
Never mind what Barney can’t get. He can still get laughs.

REVIEW
‘The Last of the Red Hot Lovers’
Who: Jewel Box Theater
What: Comedy by Neil Simon
Where: Jewel Box Theatre, 225 Iverson St., Poulsbo
When: Through Aug. 16; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. matinees Aug. 3 and 10
Tickets: $14 to $12
Information: (360) 779-9688, jewelboxpoulsbo.org

More later. — MM

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