PHILADELPHIA, PA: Walnut Street Theatre (WST) continues its 214th season with a comedic romantic romp in Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Written by the legendary Neil Simon (who received his start at the Walnut with the 1961 premiere of Come Blow Your Horn), the production begins previews January 10, opens January 18, and continues through February 5, 2023, on the Walnut’s Mainstage.
Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers will have you laughing from start to finish. Barney Cashman believes life is passing him by (maybe a mid-life crisis?) so he sets out to put some excitement into his life. His mother’s apartment is empty one afternoon each week, so he decides seduction—with three uniquely comedic women—is the answer. His failed attempts lead to hilarious results as Barney discovers he may not actually be the Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Neil Simon’s hit comedy is a guaranteed laugh-out-loud romantic romp.
Bringing the comedic beats to life and making her Walnut directorial debut is Jennifer Childs. Childs has been seen in the Walnut’s Studio series in Pumpboys and Dinettes (Prudie), and is the producing artistic director of 1812 Productions, Philadelphia’s All-Comedy Theatre Company.
Playing the role of the romance rummaging Barney Cashman is Walnut veteran Scott Greer. Audiences will recognize Greer from A Funny Thing Happened…Forum, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Buddy, Of Mice and Men, and Brighton Beach Memoirs, among others. Returning to the Walnut is Grace Gonglewski as the foul-mouthed bundle of neuroses Elaine Navazio. Gonglewski was last seen on the Walnut stage as Margaret Lord in High Society. Her off-Broadway credits include The Guys, and she has been seen in regional theatres such as The Arden, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, and more. Playing the young ‘kooky’ actress Bobbi Michele is Jessica Bedford. Bedford’s WST credits include A Woman of No Importance, Meteor Shower, And Then There Were None, and The Prescott Method. And rounding out the comedic quartet is Susan Riley Stevens as the angsty housewife Jeanette Fisher. Stevens was recently seen in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit in the spring of 2022.
Scenic Designer Brian Froonjian (Beehive, Speckled Band, Always…Patsy Cline), who also serves as the Walnut’s technical director, brings to life the story’s iconic Manhattan of the ‘60s. Creating the authentic ‘60s’ fashion is Costume Designer Leigh Paradise whose recent credits include This Is The Week That Is at 1812 Productions and Town at Theatre Horizon. Giving us the iconic ‘60s’ hairstyles is Wig Designer Carissa Thorlakson (Cinderella and Rocky). They are joined by Lighting Designer Shon Causer (Blithe Spirit, A Woman of No Importance, A Comedy of Tenors) and Sound Designer Elizabeth Atkinson (The Importance of Being Earnest).
NEIL SIMON’S LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS runs at the Walnut from January 10 through February 5, 2023. Open captioning will be available for the Sunday, January 29, 7pm performance. Season Media Sponsors are 6ABC and Metro Philadelphia. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.com.
JUST THE FACTS
WHAT: NEIL SIMON’S LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS
WHEN: January 10 – February 5, 2023
PRESS OPENING NIGHT: Wednesday, January 18 at 7pm
Walnut Street Theatre
825 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
TICKETS: Prices vary by performance and range from $25 - $97
Premium Tickets available for $175 (includes a tax-deductible donation)
Tuesday – Saturday evenings at 8pm (1/10 – 2/4)*
Special weeknight performance at 7pm (1/18)
Sunday evenings at 7pm (1/15 – 1/29)
Wednesday matinee at 2pm (2/1)
Thursday matinees at 2pm (1/26, 2/2)
Saturday matinees at 2pm (1/14 – 2/4)
Sunday matinees at 2pm (1/15 – 2/5)
*No performances 1/31
Open captioning will be available for the 7 p.m. performance on Sunday, January 29.
WEBSITE: walnutstreettheatre.org or ticketmaster.com
PRODUCTION AND DESIGN TEAM
Director: JENNIFER CHILDS
Set Design: BRIAN FROONJIAN
Costume Design: LEIGH PARADISE
Lighting Design: SHON CAUSER
Sound Design: ELIZABETH ATKINSON
Wig Design: CARISSA THORLAKSON
Barney Cashman: SCOTT GREER*
Elaine Navazio: GRACE GONGLEWSKI*
Bobbi Michele: JESSICA BEDFORD*
Jeanette Fisher: SUSAN RILEY STEVENS*
CARLY BELKO (Bobbi Michele), KATIE FLANAGAN (Jeanette Fisher), MADELEINE GARCIA (Elaine Navazio), MATTHEW RYDZEWSKI (Barney Cashman)
* The Actors and Stage Manager employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the theatre union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
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