VVTG Wraps up “Last of the Red Hot Lovers”

Paul Benedict Plays Barney Cashman, Susan Schultz plays Jeannette Fisher, the ‘moral authority.’ Both actors give a thoroughly expressive and hilarous performance in Neil Simon’s ‘Last of the Red Hot Lovers’. Don’t miss your chance to see the last show of the season March 30 & 31 at 7 p.m. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

Have you ever seen anyone fail miserably at a set goal? Generally one wouldn’t find the failure of others funny but in Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers, it’s hilarious.

Barney Cashman, played by Paul Benedict, strikes out not once, not twice but three times in the game of seduction. If Barney’s affairs were compared to the food in his restaurant, they would all be dishes best served cold.

The first of his attempted affairs happens with a regular customer from his restaurant. Elaine Navazio, played by LE Ann Elder Kalstein, is a neurotic mess who is all up for a quick romp in the sac but not a whole lot more. When Barney wants to make more of the situation, Elaine bails with one thought; she hopes the apartment has a cigarette machine in the lobby.

The next tryst attempted is with Bobbi Michele, played by Diana McKinney, an out of work actress who stops by to repay a $20 loan. Bobbi entertains Barney with talk of sexual encounters from coast to coast, some real, some imagined but who knows the difference. During her tales of the new generation’s moral influences she manages to talk Barney into smoking pot; you may just die laughing.

His third and final attempt comes when his wife’s best friend finds her husband has cheated on her and wants revenge. What was on track to become a steamy affair quickly turns sour when Jeanette Fisher, played by Susan Schultz, turns into the “moral authority.” After an argument between the two and a farce stalking, Jeanette leaves convinced that she’s going home to forgive her husband.

Last of the Red Hot Lovers was directed by Denis Feehan. Mark Guertin keeps everything going behind the set which was created by retired VVTG Artistic Director Glen Bjornson and Gary Williams. Costumes were designed by Janet McDonald.

Cast and crew have spent countless hours preparing a great production and you have two more chances not to miss the last show of the season.

Last of the Red Hot Lovers will be showing for the last time this weekend, March 30 and 31 at 7 p.m. at the Mesquite Community Theatre, 150 N. Yucca St. Tickets are $16 for adults, $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased at Mesquite Chamber of Commerce, Ready Golf Cars, Mesquite Fine Arts Center or at the Mesquite Community Theatre Box Office one hour before show times. Student tickets are available at the MCT box office only.

For more information on the VVTG and how you can become a member log onto their website www.vvtgnv.com.

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