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Neil Simon’s “Last of The Red Hot Lovers” Comes to The Zeiterion

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While the sexual revolution of the 1960’s may be considered a mere piece of the past, human interactions still make for great entertainment to this day. And in the buildup to Valentine’s Day the Zeiterion Theatre is offering a performance that indulges in the passions and yearnings of the heart and the wild scenarios that can come with it.

Once dubbed as “America’s funniest playwright,” Neil Simon debuted “Last Of The Red Hot Lovers” in 1969, chronicling the zealous follies of Barney Cashman, a middle-aged married man whose efforts to take advantage of an increasingly liberal society provide for a string of uproarious mishaps and misfortunes. And in the days of Match.com, “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” is as relevant and funny as ever.

On February 10 the Zeiterion will present Simon’s classic. The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $27, $32, $39, $45. They can be purchased at the Zeiterion box office at 684 Purchase St., or by phone at (508) 994-2900.

The performance is four days before Valentine’s Day and it uses a path of laughter to arrive at a heartfelt moral message as Cashman stumbles his way into the discovery of what is truly rewarding in a relationship.

The works of Neil Simon have earned him a reputation as one of Broadway’s greatest writers. He has written more than 30 plays, and some of his most famous works are “The Odd Couple,” “Biloxi Blues” and “Lost In Yonkers.” He has received more Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer and many of his stage productions have been adapted to film.

“Last of the Red Hot Lovers” has earned significant praise. The New York Post describes the show as “delightfully hilarious and witty…filled with wisdom about human nature…a geniously brilliant play.”

The production has also been described as “transporting” audiences back to the era of the late 1960’s, as Cashman tries his luck with a varied trio of women who are also immersed in this flowering culture.

Whether you’re a child of the sixties or someone from the age of Internet dating, ‘Last of the Red Hot Lovers’ will likely have appeal.

The show is being produced by the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. The cast is comprised of only two actors – Fran Prisco who plays the role of Cashman, and Karen Peakes who plays the role of all three women. The production is more than two hours in length.

Founded in 1809, Walnut Street Theatre is the oldest theatre in America. The Managing Director of the Walnut Street Theatre is Mark D. Sylvester, a native of Mattapoisett. In his 23rd year with Walnut Street, his first job was at New Bedford’s “State Theatre,” a movie house that eventually became the Zeiterion Theatre. At the age of 15 he was selling tickets and popcorn at the venue but he eventually became the establishment’s Stage Manager.

“’Last of the Red Hot Lovers’ is full of funny dialog and situations that anyone can relate to,” Sylvester says. “It’s a comedy about meeting people and the truths about relationships.”

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