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Get your groove on with 'Barefoot in the Park' in Canmore

Canmore theatre group brings 1960s inspired production to stage with return of live indoor performance.

CANMORE – Six long days into marriage and the world is throwing fastballs at this polar-opposite couple whose eccentric lives will be naked for all to see next week in Canmore under the bright lights.

The first live theatre to hit an indoor Canmore stage in two years is looking to be righteous with Pine Tree Players' romantic comedy "Barefoot in the Park" by Neil Simon starting Wednesday (Nov. 17).

Written for the big screen in the 1960s, the show's director Danelle White said the most joyous part of the seven-show production of "Barefoot in the Park" is turning back the clock to a groovier era that the audience can party along with.

"This play is just fun, all the way through," said White. "I think the audience also needs that, too. They need the joy that's going to be going on there and it's just hilarious all the way through."

"Barefoot in the Park" is an up close and personal look at the dynamic of totally opposite newlyweds, Corie, a hip free spirit, and Paul, an uptight businessman, whose lives are kept humming by a less-than-perfect apartment, a painfully long-awaited intimate moment (wink wink), and visits from Corie's mother and their off-the-wall neighbour. The lovebirds are quick to discover that tying the knot isn't a stroll in the park.

"They are complete opposites," White said. "Those things that they love about each other they tend to fight about at the same time and I think every relationship has all the time. But a lot of their conflict comes from them not wanting to compromise themselves. They want to be fully themselves and they're at such different ends of the spectrum that there's got to be a little give and take and that's where all their problems come from really."

The cast features Isabella Pedersen (Corie), Timothy Eckmier (Paul), Heidi Ward (mother), Jeremy White (Velsco), Ethan Stahl (delivery man), and Courtney Schreiner (telephone repairman).

"They're all really big parts of Pine Tree Players, they've all been a part of this community before," said White.

All performances are held at the Canmore Miners' Union Hall and showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 17, 19-20, and 25-27 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 21.

Opening night on Nov. 17 is pay-what-you-can and each performance following is $25 per ticket. Tickets will be limited to 50 per show.

Nov. 25's performance will have an American Sign Language interpretation by Bree McDonald and Janice Manchul as well as the option of live audio description by Col Cseke.

"So for anyone who is deaf or blind, visually impaired, they can come and enjoy the show and be able to access it in a way that they haven't been able to in the past with Pine Tree Players," said Jen Tweddell, Pine Tree Players producer. "We also have a relaxed performance on Nov. 21, which means it's more casual – people can get up during the show, people might vocalize during the show ... so anyone who can't attend a more formal performance can come enjoy the relaxed performance."

Pine Tree Players is following Alberta's Restrictions Exemption Program for the shows, which is a proof-of-vaccination or 72-hour negative test system for guests 12 and older.

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

Jordan Small joined the Outlook in 2014 and covers the vast world of sports in the Bow Valley. A Barrie, Ont. native, he also wrote for RMO's Mountain Guide section and the MD of Bighorn beat.
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