Walnut Street Theatre kicks off New Year with 'Last of the Red Hot Lovers'

BySteph Walton WPVI logo
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Walnut Street Theatre kicks off 2023 with 'Last of the Red Hot Lovers'
Neil Simon's 'Last of the Red Hot Lovers' brings comedy and some nostalgia from 1960s New York to audiences.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Walnut Street Theatre is continuing its 214th season with Neil Simon's, 'Last of the Red Hot Lovers.'

Jennifer Childs is directing the show.

"It's a true Neil Simon comedy," she says. "The writing is really, really sharp. The jokes are really funny, but it's also very heartfelt."

The play focuses on Barney Cashman, a man in his mid-40s, who is married to his high school sweetheart.

According to Childs, Cashman has led a nice life, but "he's ready for a little more excitement."

The role of Barney Cashman is played by Scott Greer.

Greer says the play covers Cashman's decision to try and have an affair.

Cashman's mid-life crisis plays out over three acts.

"He invites three different women over the course of like eight months up to his mother's apartment, because he knows she's going to be working," says Greer.

The first woman is Elaine Navazio, played by Grace Gonglewski.

"Elaine is a smoking, drinking, wisecracking, very, very, very experienced woman," says Childs.

Cashman then tries for a much younger woman, Bobbi Michele, played by Jessica Bedford.

"She's very generationally different than Barney," says Bedford.

Bedford describes her character as "sort of a flower child."

Cashman then goes after Jeanette Fisher, a friend of his wife, and someone he knows quite well.

"Jeanette is a very depressed, unhappy person," says Greer. "He's not terribly successful at having an affair."

The play is Jennifer Childs' directorial debut at the Walnut Street Theatre.

"There's a lot about marriage and there's a lot about love," says Childs. "It's about people who are looking for connection."

It's a theme that Childs says is incredibly relevant given the last few years.

Childs says she's hoping audiences will "laugh really, really hard" at the show, but she's also hoping that "they'll find a moment of recognition with the characters."

'Last of the Red Hot Lovers' runs January 10 through February 5, 2023.

'Last of the Red Hot Lovers' | Tickets | Facebook

Walnut Street Theatre

825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107