Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Eunice Players' Theatre Prepares "Barefoot in the Park" as its Season Opener

Eunice Players’ Theatre is preparing its season opener, “Barefoot in the Park”, a two-act comedy by Neil Simon. This production of the play marks a revival on the EPT stage following its first run in 1972. Director Suzanne LaHaye has put together a cast of stage veterans and audience favorites to bring to the stage the story of a newlywed couple who must contend with their own differences - she being free-spirited, he being a strait-laced lawyer - as well as a faulty postage-stamp sized New York apartment, a quirky neighbor and a nosy mother-in-law.

Filling the roles of the newlywed couple, Corie and Paul Bratter are Bonnie Pitre and Gabe Ortego of Eunice. Gabe was most recently seen in "The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's Production of A Christmas Carol" as Gordon, for which he won the Best Supporting Actor Irving Award. An accomplished actor in the Opelousas and Eunice theatres, with “Providence”, “A Tuna Christmas”, and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” to his credit, Gabe has also directed “Steel Magnolias”, “Monky Business”, and “The Subject Was Roses”.

Bonnie returns to the stage following her Irving Award-winning performance in “Providence” and a stellar turn in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”. Bonnie appeared in several plays at LSU while earning a minor degree in theatre; she has also been seen on the EPT stage in “Woman” and “The Sound of Music”, and she also ran the lighting for “If the Shoe Fits”.

Longtime EPT actor and frequent set designer Charles Seale returns to the stage in the role of the quirky but charming Victor Velasco after having recently taken part in “Fiddler on the Roof” and co-directed “Deathtrap”. Interestingly, Charles assisted with painting the scenic backdrop for the EPT's earlier production of this show.

Joining the cast as Corie’s mother, Mrs. Banks is Ricci Arnaud from Crowley. Ricci is past president of Acadia Players in Crowley, where she appeared in “The Queen of Bingo”, “A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking”, and “Seven Nuns in Vegas”.

Stepping in as the telephone repairman is Tucker Kelly of Crowley, most recently seen in last season’s “What the Bellhop Saw” at EPT. He’s also had roles in “Bridge to Terabithia” and “Seance in Acadiana” at Acadia Players, as well as numerous high school and church productions.
Rusty Moody of Eunice has the cameo role of the delivery man. Currently the mayor of Eunice, Rusty is returning to the stage after a 20 year absence, having last been seen in “The Nerd” for which he won an Irving Award.

The show will begin its run Thursday, March 24 through Sunday, March 27. Dinner theatre is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29 at 6:00 p.m. at Nick's on Second St., with the performance immediately following. Other performances dates include Wednesday and Thursday, March 30 and 31. All evening performances are at 7:00 p.m.; the Sunday matinee is at 2:00 p.m. Individual tickets for the show are $10 and on sale at David Ltd. Salon on Second St. Season tickets may be purchased and more information can be obtained by calling 546-0163 or 457-2156. For $20 a season ticket includes 3 shows, reservation rights, voting privileges and an invitation to the 42th Annual Irving Awards. Angel and patron packages are also available for purchase.

More pictures and information about EPT can be found on Facebook and at www.euniceplayers.blogspot.com.

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