Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Barefoot in the Park

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We're deep in "hey kids, let's put on a show" territory here, and the production's tolerable only as long as you keep that in mind. Tell yourself that the infant Easy Street Players are merely cutting their teeth on Neil Simon's 1963 comedy about newlyweds newly moved into their first apartment, and certain problems don't have to matter quite as much as they otherwise would. The problems of the acting and direction, for instance. The actor playing the young husband is supposed to project uptightness, but doesn't. Nor does the young wife come across as the free spirit she's supposed to be. The all-important Kennedy-era atmosphere fails to materialize. Even the character who's declared to be wearing a beret, isn't. Under the circumstances, the show gets remarkably far on perky enthusiasm and the sense that a few cast members--Tori Ulrich in particular--can do better. Through 7/24: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM. Athenaeum Theatre, second-floor studio theater, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500. $15-$20.

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