Last of The Red Hot Lovers: Neil Simon’s classic comedy now at the Ridgefield Theater Barn

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The classic Neil Simon play “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” is now playing at the Ridgefield Theater Barn through September 28th.   This comedy which was first staged on Broadway in 1969 was the recipient of four Tony Award nominations.

 

The play is in three acts with each act  featuring Barney Cashman, (Duane Lanham) a  married forty something  year-old owner of a seafood restaurant.  Barney is afraid he is missing out on the sexual revolution of the 1960’s . In the space of several months, he invites three different women to his mother’s Manhattan apartment in an attempt to have an afternoon of extramarital fun.  Each scene involves a different woman, and the Barney learns quickly that the sexual revolution may not be his cup of tea.

His first encounter is with Elaine Navazio (Paulette Layton) who he meets in his restaurant.  Elaine we find is in an open marriage and is quite comfortable with having extramarital affairs.  Elaine is put off by Barney’s sexual  ineptness and his inexperience with affairs as well as his  desire for a meaningful encounter.  The exchange between the two is  quite comical as his inexperience is represented by not having cigarettes or the right alcohol on hand.    Barney decides this lifestyle is not for him.

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Paulette Layton and Duane Lanham

In Act Two, we are back in the apartment months later and Barney has now met a young actress Bobbi Michele (Kate Patton) in the park.  He soon finds his young friend is really not what he expected.  Even though he is now prepared with booze and packs of cigarettes, young Bobbi just wants to talk about herself, her career and smoke pot, which she encourages Barney to try.   She is quite the contrast to the amorous Elaine from Act One.

In Act Three the tone of the play turns a bit darker and deeper as it probes into morality.  Here we meet Jeanette Fisher (Linda Seay) who is the wife of a good friend.  Barney has learned that Jeanette’s husband has been carrying on an affair for some time and convinces her that her own affair will even the score.  But from the moment she walks into the apartment it is clear that Barney’s plan of an afternoon of sex is not what he imagined.  Jeanette does not know why she really is there, does not want cigarettes or alcohol and her exaggerated body language and running away from Barney is not only comedic but lets the audience and Barney know that this is not what she wants.  She does want to find people that are kind and who are “decent”.   It is in this dialogue which is so different from the previous Acts that Barney comes to an awakening that everything he really needs is waiting at home.

Duane Lanham was wonderful as Barney and we love his physical style of comedy and his hysterical facial expressions.  He is one of our favorite actors at the Barn, having seen him in Wreck the Halls, Rumors, and the hysterical  Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  We loved  Paulette Layton, Kate Patton, and Linda Seay, and they are  all very funny actors playing very different roles.  Well done ladies.   The opening night crowd agreed with rousing applause for the cast and crew.

The play was directed by Michael Ferrara  who as a young boy acted in Neil Simon’s  The Gingerbread Lady.  Though the play is now 50 years old, it subject of morality and truth is still relevant today.

The Ridgefield Theater Barn is a small intimate space.  Theater goers are encouraged to bring food and drink to the theater to enjoy prior to the performance.

for tickets and information:

https://ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org/tickets/

Ridgefield Theater Barn

37 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield CT 06877

tel. 203.431.9850

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Old Ringers: A hilarious comedy now at the Ridgefield Theater Barn

old ringers

One of our favorite theaters, The Ridgefield Theater Barn in Ridgefield Ct. is now featuring the Connecticut premiere of the comedy “Old Ringers” .  The play written by Joe Simonelli , follows 4 older  women that are facing the grim reality of an economic downturn.   Diane has had her monthly  social security check  reduced due to error, Cathy Ann has had her hours cut back and their friends Verna and Rose are feeling a similar economic pinch as well.  Other than  Diane the ladies are feeling a bit light in the romance department as well.

The play which takes place in Diane’s home in the Bronx, also features Amanda the born again Christian daughter of Diane who is shocked by her mother’s bawdy ways and her drinking.  The juxtaposition of such opposite characters lends comedy to the setting.  With their finances in ruin, and with few options the women find inspiration when a caller dials the wrong number  thinking they called a phone sex service.  The four women scheme to set up their own phone sex service right in Diane’s house.  They draft Harry, Diane’s accountant and boyfriend to be part of their new enterprise.  What would possibly go wrong?

The women spring into action and the comedy ramps up as the phone calls roll in and somehow Diane and her friends must keep their new venture a secret from the pious Amanda and her new love interest, a local police officer.

The two act play moves along briskly and the cast of seven actors give a humorous and sometimes madcap comedic performance.  Timing is everything, and director  Carol Dorn has skillfully guided the cast to execute their lines for maximum effect.  The audience roared in laughter throughout the evening.   Ms. Dorn has worked in television and film for the last 12 years. Her theater experience is extensive with work both on stage and off stage as a director and a playwright.  Her skill as a director is really evident in this production at the Theater Barn and we hope to see her back soon.

The very talented and funny cast includes Sarah J. Ahearn as Amanda , Laurel Lettieri as Rose, Frances  McGarry as Diane, Stefanie Rosenberg as Cathy Ann, Linda Seay as Verna, Joshua Adelson as the police officer and Mark Rubino as Harry.    The play runs through February 23rd.

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Guests at the Theater Barn enjoying refreshments prior to the performance of “Old Ringers”

The Theater Barn is unique! Arrive one hour before the show and bring your own food and wine. Wine, craft beer and snacks are also available for purchase at the theater.   Seating is cabaret style.  The small intimate space gives everyone in the audience a great view of the performance.  There is nothing like live theater.

Tickets are $35 for adults, and $28 for seniors, students and veterans.  Grab some friends and have a night out at the theater.

Ridgefield Theater Barn

37 Halpin Lane Ridgefield Ct

web>   https://ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org

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Ridgefield Independent Film Festival arrives with parties, great films, and panels October 18th-21st

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The Ridgefield Independent Film Festival is upon us with another great season.  The festival begins Thursday October 18th and runs through Sunday October 21st in Ridgefield Ct.  This very special festival of film will host parties, panel discussions, and film screenings in several locations around Ridgefield.  The locations for the festival are the Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield Theater Barn, Keeler Tavern and the Ridgefield Library.

It looks to be an interesting slate of films at this years festival including documentaries, narrative films (both dramas and comedy), and short films.  There is something for everyone.

We encourage you to check out the amazing list of films and events at the festival by checking out the schedule. See you at the movies !

Link here >> https://www.riffct.org

Ridgefield Independent Film Festival returns October 18th-21. A must attend event of indie films, documentaries, panel discussions, parties and more!

riff_logo_bauhaus-with_type_blackWe are so fortunate to have a very special cinema event right here in our back yard.  Coming October 18-21st 2017, the Ridgefield Independent Film Festival returns!  The festival , that celebrates independent films from around the world that enlighten, entertain and inspire moviegoers through compelling visual storytelling.   We are so excited to be covering this fantastic event.

RIFF has  announced  its Special Event Screenings Line-up. Keynote events featuring films followed by filmmaker Q&As taking place at various Ridgefield, CT locations throughout the festival’s run include: SAY HER NAME: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland, follows an investigation into what happened to activist Sandra Bland, who died in police custody after a routine traffic stop, directed by Oscar nominated,Connecticut based directors Kate Davis and David Heilbroner;

DANSEUR explores the world of bullying and prejudice towards male ballet dancers directed by Scott Gormley;

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THIS IS HOME: A Refugee Story about four Syrian families struggling to find their way to America directed by Peabody Award-winner Alexandra Shiva

 

VERMONT FANCY about an aging rural farmer who’s struggling with the consequences of his choice to live a life alone directed by Kathleen Dougherty Huxley.

The Closing Night film PURPLE DREAMS, directed by Joanne Hock and produced by Robin Grey, documents the transformation of at-risk, inner city youth attending a magnet charter school in Charlotte, NC that provides arts education. The teenage subjects have the potential to break the cycle of poverty, homelessness and gangrelated violence, when they are given an opportunity to stage the musical The Color Purple. After thescreening, Tony Award-winner and activist James Naughton hosts a talk with Robin Grey.

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Scene from the documentary “Vermont Fancy”

 Tickets to the festival are on sale now at http://www.riffct.org. The 2018 Ridgefield Independent Film Festival runs  October 18-21, 2018.

In addition to all these films there will be special parties to help celebrate the festival.  Check the website for more details of parties hosted at Gallo’s, Aldrich Museum, The Ridgefield Playhouse and more.  Please stay tuned for more details about this exciting film festival bringing  social awareness and fine independent film you will not see anywhere else.   We will be rolling out more information about the festival as the date draws near.

Ridgefield Independent Film Festival

for more information and full film list please visit : https://www.riffct.org

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Ridgefield Theater Barn opens its 53rd season with the musical comedy, Urinetown

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The Ridgefield Theater Barn has opened is 53rd season with Urinetown, The Musical.   Urinetown is a satirical musical comedy .  It satirizes the legal system, capitalism social irresponsibility, populism,  bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, and municipal politics  The show also parodies past musicals, and the Broadway musical itself as an art form.

The play opened on Broadway in 2001 and ran for over 900 performances.  It was  the winner of the 2002 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Original Score.   The music and lyrics were written  by Mark Hollmann,  and the book and lyrics  were penned by Greg Kotis.

This very funny musical now comes to the Ridgefield Theater Barn Stage with performances through September 28th 2018.    This production is directed by Deb Failla with Musical Direction by Lisa Riggs Hobbs. The show features Michael Valinoti, Elyse Jasensky, Chris Balestriere, Monica Harrington, James Hobayan, Bill Warncke, Joe Caputo,  Meaghan Elliot, Shawn Tyler Allen, Rachel Lotstein, Samantha Holomakoff, Rachel Lewis, Duane Lamham, Lesli Allen, Stephen Emerick, and Harry Brendan Garnett.

The Ridgefield Theater Barn is a wonderful intimate venue to enjoy live theater.  Seating is cabaret style at tables and theater goers are encouraged to bring their own food and wine to enjoy prior to the performance.

Don’t miss this hysterical show  before it sells out!  For tickets and more information:

http://ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org

Tickets are $38 and Seniors (62)/Students/Veterans $30

Ridgefield Theater Barn

37 Halpin Lane  •  Ridgefield, CT

 

 

Fences: Tony award winning drama now at Ridgefield Theater Barn

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A very interesting and thought provoking play, “Fences” is now on stage at the Ridgefield Theater Barn in Ridgefield Ct.  This  Pulitizer, Drama Desk and Tony Award winning play by August Wilson ran on Broadway back in 1987-1988.  Among its awards was the Tony Award for Best Play, and Best Actor (James Earl Jones).   It will run at the Theater Barn through February 24th.

The drama follows an African American family and is set in the late 1950s.  We meet Troy Maxon (Foster Evans Reese), a hard working man of little education who works as a garbage man.  His life is filled with regret about the fact his talents as a baseball player were never acknowledged due to the racial barrier in major league baseball. He lives a respectable life with his own little home he shares with his wife Rose (Tracey McAllister) and his son Cory (Shelby Davis).   Conflicts arise early in the play as Troy attempts to break the color barrier to become the first African American garbage truck driver for his firm.   Though Troy feels he will be fired for complaining to the union, he instead is promoted.  This promotion however comes at a price as he no longer works with his best friend Bono(Kevin Knight) and we see eventually they will drift apart.

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Other important characters are Gabe (Dan Fedrick) who plays Troy’s brother who suffered a brain injury in the War and is looked after by Troy, even though Gabe elected to move out of the house.  Troy has two sons, Lyons (Steffon Sampson) who Troy is in conflict with as he sees Lyons as a person with no direction who comes around just to borrow money.  His other son Cory (Shelby Davis) is also in struggles with Troy as he wants to elevate himself in life through sport, but Troy attempts to keep him down and steer him into a career of manual labor.

Rose, the loving wife and mother does her best to keep the peace.  Through the play she wants an ideal  yet simple life and for Troy to finish the white picket fence that surrounds the house.  It takes the entire play for the fence to be finished.  The fence for Rose represents keeping together her family and her dreams.  For Troy it represents a barrier, and for Cory  the fence is a way for his father to fence his ambitions to play sports and go on the college.   We see too the themes of death seep into the story and for Troy the fence is a way for keeping the grim reaper away.

The sold out theater was riveted to the actors on stage during the two hour plus play. Though all the actors gave solid  performances (including Dania Fedrick, who appears late in Act Two), the night belongs to Foster Evans Reese who commands the stage with his powerful and moving interpretation of Troy.

Due to adult themes and language, the play is best suited for mature audiences.

The Ridgefield Theater Barn is a real local treasure.  Doors open on hour before the show and you sit cabaret style at tables.  Guests bring their own food and drink to enjoy prior to the show.  The Barn now has a bar  in the lobby with snacks, a featured cocktail, wine and beer.

Tickets are $35 and $28 for Students, veterans and seniors)

Ridgefield Theater Barn

37 Halpin Lane  Ridgefield Ct             http://ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org/

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You should be dancing! First Ladies of Disco rock the Ridgefield Playhouse, February 14th

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A fun event for music lovers, especially lovers of classic disco.  On February 14th The Ridgefield Playhouse is presenting a fun evening. The First Ladies of Disco Valentine’s Day Gala, which begins at 6:30pm,  includes performances by Martha Wash (The Weather Girls), Linda Clifford (“If My Friends Could See Me Now”) and Norma Jean Wright (formerly of Chic), who will perform all of their hits with some special surprises! “It’s Raining Men,” “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” “Everybody, Everybody” and “Strike It Up,” Linda Clifford’s  recordings have spent a total of 60 weeks at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s dance charts with hits “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” “Red Light,” “Don’t Give It Up,” and more.  Singer Norma Jean Wright first came to fame as a vocalist with Chic (“Le Freak,” “Everybody Dance.” “I Want Your Love,” )

 Part of the Pepsi Rock Series, powered by Xfinity, this fundraiser with a beat is sponsored by Lori & John Berisford, Shari Goodstein, Carolyn & Rommin Adl, Adam Broderick Salon & Spa, BMW of Ridgefield & Lera Jewels.

There will be free champagne & chocolate desserts  for all ticket holders and a chance to win a piece of jewelry donated by Lera Jewels; a spa package donated by Adam Broderick Salon & Spa and a date night package (which includes a car and driver!) donated by BMW of Ridgefield, this night is a fun way to celebrate with your significant other or just to cut loose with a group of friends.

Also contributing to the event will be All Season Party & Tent Rentals, The Cake Box, Campari America, Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe, Elizabella’s Bake Shoppe, Hollandia Nurseries, Pera Wines, and All proceeds from funds raised will go towards the Arts for Everyone outreach program at The Ridgefield Playhouse, which allows families and children from low income areas to attend shows for free!  The party starts at 6:30pm, when all ticket holders will enjoy a Valentine’s Day staple, champagne & prosecco, (courtesy of Pera Wines), chocolate (courtesy of Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe)  desserts (courtesy of The Cake Box, Elizabella’s Bake Shoppe and Whistle Stop Bakery)

The fundraising portion of the evening will include a raffle with prizes and a silent auction.  The charity is the Arts for Everyone outreach program at The Ridgefield Playhouse, which allows families and children from low income areas to attend shows for free and experience the great events that the Playhouse has to offer.

So get on your dancing shoes, grab your friends and dance the night away for a good cause.

 For tickets ($75) call or visit the box office, 203-438-5795

or go online at >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

Ridgefield Playhouse

80 Ridge Road  Ridgefield Ct.