Barefoot in the Park opens at WCP

Arts and Entertainment

September 16, 2013

From: Westfield Community Players

1000 North Avenue West Westfield, NJ 07090



Press Release: September 15, 2013

Contact: Steve Lemenille

908.232.9568



WCP opens its new Season with Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park



Westfield Community Players (WCP) brings the quintessential situation comedy to the stage. Opening October 5 and running through October 26, 2013.

WESTFILED, NJ September 1, 2013—WCP's 2013-2014 season begin with the beloved Neil Simon comedy Barefoot in the Park. Barefoot in the Park opens October 5, 2013 for a limited four-weekend run and features a cast of WCP favorites including Westfield Community Players' actor Brian Remo as lawyer Paul and Debbie Campanali, making her WCP debut as his spirited wife, Corie. Other WCP actors, Russ Ortiz and Ken Webb will appear as Victor Velasco and the Telephone Repairman, respectively. Zita Geoffroy-Heinz will also be making her WCP debut in the role of Corie's mother, Mrs. Banks. A special appearance will be featured in the role of the Delivery Man. This Neil Simon classic comedy is being directed by Steve Lemenille and produced by Kay Macrae.

As one of Simon's earliest and most popular comedies, this light-hearted romance between a straight-laced lawyer and his impetuous free spirited wife begins where most romantic comedies end, bringing reality and humor to the life that happens after two people fall in love and get married. Set in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, Barefoot in the Park opens with newlyweds Paul Bratter (Brian Remo) and Corie Bratter (Debbie Campanali) moving into their fifth-floor walkup apartment. Adjusting to married life soon becomes complicated by a leaking skylight and their eccentric neighbor Victor Velasco (Russ Ortiz), who must go through their apartment in order to get to his own. When Corie hatches a plot to get Victor together with her mother Ethel Banks (Zita Geoffroy-Heinz), the dinner party goes awry with hilarious results.

"Westfield Community Players gives audiences a chance to laugh with the whole family," says WCP play director Steve Lemenille. "Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park is the quintessential situation comedy, complete with zippy one-liners and wacky next-door neighbors. Whether you grew up watching The Honeymooners or Dharma and Greg, you'll recognize the easy, breezy style that Neil Simon first perfected in this comedic gem."

Making her WCP stage debut, Debbie Campanali, attended Montclair State University and received her BA in Theater Studies. She is currently a mortgage underwriter but continues to perform on stage whenever she can. Debbie has appeared as Lavina in Titus Andronicus, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and as Lady Anne/Soldier in Richard III produced by The Shakespeare Initiative; as Elaine in Arsenic Old Lace, and as Elizabeth in Frankenstein, as Lucy in Dracula, as Mercy Lewis in The Crucible and Ophelia in Hamlet at the Brundage Park Playhouse; and as Cassie Copper in Rumors at Studio Players; and as Officer Smitts in Night of the Meek and as the Orderly/ASM in The Ride Down Mount Morgan at 12 Miles West; and Zamora in Sleeping Beauty at The Vagabond Players. She most recently appeared in a series of monolgues, Sex Relationships and Sometimes Love, both at the Old Library Theater and Main Street Theater Company.

WCP audiences are sure to recognize Brian Remo, playing Paul Bratter, as a regular performer on the WCP theatre scene since 2010. Some of his WCP roles include Max Haliday in Dial 'M' for Murder, Abie in Abie's Irish Rose, Rodolpho in A View from the Bridge, Tom in The Glass Menagerie and George in Don't Dress for Dinner. Mr. Remo also directed Rehearsal for Murder for WCP which received 10 NJACT Perry Award Nominations, which included Outstanding Production and Outstanding Director. Mr. Remo also serves at Secretary of WCP's Board of Directors. Playing the role of Corie's mother, Mrs.Banks, is Zita Geoffro-Heinz, who is also making her WCP debut. Ms. Geoffroy-Heinz has appeared in such producttions as Sly Fox at Somerset Valley Playhouse, David's Dream Musical at Edison Valley Playhouse, The Wizard of Oz with Hexagon Players, Bad Seed at OCP and Singin' in the Rain with Plays-in-the Park. Rounding out the cast are Russ Ortiz in the role of Victor Velasco and Ken Webb at the Telephone Repairman. Mr. Oortiz previously appeared at WCP as Sol Wasserman in the comedy, Squabbles and as Ernie in Rehearsal for Murder. Russ also received several NJACT Perry Award Nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor. Mr. Ken Webb began his theatrical experience at WCP in the role of Louis is A View from the Bridge in 2011. He also appeared as Hector in Squabbles and the “fake” Lt. McElroy in Rehearsal for Murder at WCP; and the Bellman in Plaza Suite at Edison Valley Playhouse.

WCP's Costume Designer Doris Dias will create the fun sixties fashions for the production. Set Designer Bill McMeekan's set design is a cramped apartment that provides the newlyweds new obstacles at every turn. Other members of the production team include Sound Designer Glen Crane, Lighting Operator Jessica Foerst, Sound Operator Michael Bieber and Properties Chief JoAnne Lemenille. The production is being staged manager by Stage Manager Barbara Ruban.

Barefoot in the Park's resident play director Steve Lemenille began his WCP directorial experience with Dial 'M' for Murder [2010], then followed with A View from the Bridge [2011], Squabbles [2012] and Proof [2013]. Mr. Lemenille has also appeared in a number of WCP's productions: A Midsummer Night's Dream as Theseus, Death of A Salesman as Stanley, Fools as the Magistrate, Little Mary Sunshine as Col. Oscar Fairfax, A View from the Bridge as Mr. Lipari, Don't Drink the Water as Kilroy and Abie's Irish Rose as Isaac Cohen in. Mr. Lemenille has been nominated for several NJACT Perry Awards: 2013 Outstanding Director of a Play for his directon of {P r o o f}, 2011 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Isaac Cohen in Abie's Irish Rose, 2011 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for his portrayal of Sir Lawrence Wargrave in And Then There Were None at Main Street Theatre Company, 2012 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for his role as the real Lt. McElroy in Rehearsal for Murder and Outstanding Production of a Play as Producer for Rehearsal for Murder. Mr. Lemenille has also performed for StageCrafters of Fairlawn and Bergen County Players, as well as, Regal Dinner Theater Productions. In addition to directing for WCP, Steve is currently serving at WCP's president and webmaster.

Kay Macrae, producer of Barefoot in the Park, received her 2nd Perry Award Nomination for Outstanding Production of a Play for the Westfield Community Players production of Angel Street. She has been a member of WCP for many, many years---singing, acting and enjoying it all!! Kay has produced such notable productions here at WCP of Little Mary Sunshine, Born Yesterday, Second Time Around and Squabbles…to mention just a few. Kay also serves on the Play Reading Committee and served as Director of Public Relations. Kay sings with Celebration Singers in Cranford. Kay currently serves as President of the Westfield Musical Club which is an organization devoted to fostering and encouraging good music, providing opportunities for performance, and supporting college music scholarships.

Westfield Community Players' production of Barefoot in the Park has a four-weekend run and is being produced under Special Arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. Opening night performance is Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. It will continue Saturday October 12, 2013 at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 8:00 p.m., Friday, October 25, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. and Closing Night, Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. In addition, one Sunday matinee is scheduled for October 13 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are only $20. The theatre is located at 1000 North Avenue West, Westfield, NJ. Discounts are available for students (only for matinees), and for currently serving members of the Armed Forces. Group discounts are available for groups 20 or more. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the WCP Box Office at 908.232.1221, or visit us online at www.westfieldcommunityplayers.org.

Westfield Community Player's 2013-2014 Season will continue with Regrets Only in January (2014) directed by Maurice Moran and produced by Sally Brown, Butterflies Are Free in March (2014) directed by Wanda S. Maragni and conclude with A Streetcar Named Desire in May (2014) directed by Brian Remo and produced by Steve Lemenille.

For additional information on Barefoot in the Park or for interviews with Mr. Lemenille, Ms. Macrae, contact WCP President at: info@westfieldcommunityplayers.org

About Westfield Community Players:
Westfield Community Players is a not-for-profit community theatre company dedicated to offering hands-on participation for those wishing to learn more about various aspects of live theatrical production and performance while providing a varied theater experience to a broad audience. We do that by actively seeking volunteers to keep our theater functioning, and by maintaining an open-casting policy where everyone can audition for all of our scheduled plays. Located in the Westfield, NJ, WCP produces four main stage productions each season at its home at 1000 North Avenue West.