Dates and showtimes for “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” are tonight and Saturday at the Bell Theatre in Pineville at 8 p.m. and Sunday at the Bell Theatre at 2:30 p.m.
The opening weekend for the Spring play revealed a talented cast of four individuals, two MLT veterans and two MLT newcomers: Mark Schelstrate plays the central character, Barney Cashman. Schelstrate has written, produced and starred in his own work for the MLT. Playing the character of Jeanette Fisher is another MLT veteran, Amy Simpson. Some of Simpson’s most memorable roles include Meg in “Crimes of the Heart” and Maggie in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. Brittany Burchfield is a MLT newby who plays Elaine Navazio in this weekend’s production. Burchfield is a graduate of Pineville High School, has attended Union College and will be in the Southeast Community and Technical College nursing program in the Fall. Playing Bobbi Michele is another MLT newcomer, Tara Gambrel. Gambrel is a Middlesboro High School graduate who is now at Union College, majoring in psychology.
Under the direction of Middlesboro Little Theatre’s Ken Maciula, the four actors shine on the Bell Theatre stage, creating a laugh-a-minute experience, suitable for a “PG” audience interested in a well-performed comedy.
After a 23-year marriage, Barney Cashman, bent on having an extra-marital affair, pursues a string of women who represent opposite ends of the spectrum of femininity. Cashman learns certain lessons along the way. After utter failure with the overly-forward, curious and impatient Elaine, Cashman prepares a bit for the flamboyant night-club singer Bobbi. Cashman displays a selection of cigarettes, as well as scotch and vodka for the talkative, transparent, oblivious Bobbi — but Bobbi prefers a different course of entertainment, which, for a second time, does not lead to adultery. Then Jeanette Fisher, the last of the “red hot lovers” that Barney pursues, enters the picture. Jeanette, a friend of Cashman and his wife, is emotionally distraught and looking for a shoulder to cry on— not exactly a formula for a heated romance. Of course, it never is when Barney is a part of the equation.
The Middlesboro Little Theatre actors deliver a collective performance that would make Neil Simon proud. “It has been a real joy to direct four fine actors in this hilarious adult comedy,” Director Ken Maciula said. “All have put in long hours and have found the nuances in Simon’s comic vision.”
Serving as the MLT crew behind this performance: Judy Cox, stage manager; Mike Crockett- lights, sound and facility management; Clayton Maurer, Aspen Good and JayCee Coker- running crew; Chad Money, Ron McCarty, Ann Maciula and Clayton Maurer- set construction and painting; Tabitha Webb, Brandy Calvert, Robert Cox, Felicia Crockett, John Lake and Ann Maciula - box office. The MLT would especially like to thank the Bell Theatre, Mike Crockett, the John MacKenzie Salon, Community Trust Bank, Edward Jones, Jeff’s Pharmacy, Hickman Building Supplies, Home Federal Bank, Long’s Pic Pac, Nagle Law Office, Pineville Fine Arts Council and Southeast Eye Associates.
Ticket prices are $8 for adults; $5 for students (with a valid i.d.) and seniors.
Brandy Calvert is the managing editor for the Middlesboro Daily News. Contact her via e-mail at email@example.com.