‘Fools’ opens at Red Barn with perfect cast
The Red Barn Theatre once again gets an A-plus with the Neil Simon comic fable “Fools,” which opened last Tuesday and is running through Jan. 9. The cast, ten of Key West’s finest, is without a doubt perfectly picked for the punch-line filled play which delves into what is better — being rich and smart or finding love and happiness.
“It’s Neil Simon,” said director Joy Hawkins. “The way he handles ethnic humor makes me laugh more than any other that I’ve ever dealt with. The timing in his writing is impeccable, helping the actors find just how to land the jokes he put into this play. It’s been hard for us to rehearse because we’re all laughing so much.”
Local artist Rick Worth’s set design and Carmen Rodriguez’s costumes brings the audience to 19th century rural Russia and the town of Kulyenchikov, which is under a curse bound to a love story gone awry. The curse — like no other — has the entire town lacking common sense.
Hilarity ensues as Doctor Zubritsky, played by David Black, and his wife, Lenya, played by none other than Key West’s Marjorie Paul-Shook, try to educate their daughter Sophia, played by Susannah Wells, by hiring schoolteacher and philosopher Leon, Lliam Dufrense. Also appearing as the town’s people are Laurie Seth Yates, Armando Lodigiani, George Halloran, Diana Heller, John Wells, and Wayne Dapser who epitomize the logic of illogical minds.
The curse has left the locals not knowing what love is, let alone how to add one plus one. But Leon sees potential in the daughter, who is also known to be the only one who can break the curse. But he, too, succumbs to the curse, losing his own common sense.
In the end, the audience will learn who teaches who and leave the theater with cheeks hurting from smiling and laughing so much.
Tickets for “Fools” are on sale at redbarntheatre.com or by calling 305-296-9911. Season subscriptions for all the Barn’s shows, now in its 36th season, are also available. There’s also a dinner and a show option in conjunction with Hard Rock Café for all performances.