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Y.'s 'Barefoot in Park' is jolly tour of newlywed life

BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, directed by Corey A. Ewan, written by Neil Simon; Pardoe Theatre of Brigham Young University's Harris Fine Arts Center; continues Tuesdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through June 12; matinee, 2 p.m., June 5. Tickets are $10 for general public and $8 for BYU students and faculty. Box office: 378-4322. Running time: 2 1/2 hours (one intermission).

PROVO -- If you like rocking out to Petula Clark, the Association, Supremes and other songsters of the 1960's, you'll have a blast at "Barefoot in the Park." And tunes are just the filler before, between and at the end of the show.The lastest stage production at Brigham Young University has gone beyond the call of duty to bring you to the famous Neil Simon Brownstone Apartment where newlywed's Corie and Paul Bratter discover marriage is more than just a cute apartment and saying I love you.

Julina Newsome Hall (Corie) and Dallyn Vail Bayles (Paul), play off each other well. Their timing, for the most part, is crisp and their lines are delivered with punch.

Supporting cast includes Amberly M. Daines as Mrs. Banks (Corie's mother) and Jason E. Hall as Victor Velasco, the couples' upstairs neighbor. These two characters do a terrific job at rounding out this romantic comedy. In fact, their love story is just about as crazy as the Bratters'.

Other cast members adding to the production include George Spelvin as the delivery man and Kevin Peterson as the telephone repair man. Their character acting and hyperventilating adds humor to the show.

The real star of the show is the fantastic set, designed by Eric Fielding. This is a wonderful interpretation of the fifth floor apartment complete with a broken skylight and the brownstone brick roof. It is a newlywed's dream if it just had a bathtub, bedroom and dining area. It is engineered beautifully.

Costume designer Janet Swenson should receive kudos for her '60s pant sets and frocks worn by the women of the cast. The men look very finished and together in their 3-piece suits and ascots.

"Barefoot in the Park" provides a fun evening of laughter for both singles and marrieds. However, you may find the marrieds laughing just a bit more; possibly they are remembering the first few weeks of their own marriages. The biggest nag for this reviewer is the opening scene, which runs for quite a while without dialogue. It needs to be a bit quicker and in some parts a tad snappier.

This is another fine production by the students and faculty of BYU's theater and media arts department.