Theater: Red hot and ready 

Neil Simon classic comes to the Landings

The Savannah Community Theatre's 2008-2009 season opens October 31 with Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Directed by Tom Coleman, Simon's comedy follows Barney through the follies and missteps of attempting to start up an extramarital affair.

“Barney is completely devoted to his wife,” explains Coleman, "and thinks having an affair will spice things up, but he makes an utter fiasco of it.”

His first attempt is with a worldly woman named Elaine, played by Kim Trammell Schneider. “She’s an old hat at the infidelity game,” says Schneider, “and she quickly realizes that she’s made a mistake in choosing Barney to cavort with.”

Barney’s next try is with a young actress named Bobbi-Michelle, played by Jordyn Schafer, whom he meets by happenstance and quickly discovers that her flightiness is a bit too much to handle. “She’s a fast talker and the subjects change so quickly,” says Schafer,” but I think we’ve done good job adding comedic pauses to help keep the audience at pace with the show.”

Despite his disavowal to attempt any more liaisons, Barney makes one more go of it, this time with his wife’s best friend, Jeanette, played by Renee DeRossett.

“She’s blubbering through the entire scene,” laughs DeRossett,” even through the comedic bits, and is convinced there’s not a single good person left in the world.”

Even though the material seems heavy, it most certainly maintains a level of comedy throughout. The entire premise of this perfectly content man up and deciding to cheat on his wife of several decades, and then being too afraid or high to pull it off, is hilarious in its own right.

Aside from bringing fresh material to the Savannah theatre scene, the SCT is striving to bring theatre to a new audience and will be performing Red Hot at the Plantation Club in the Landings. The show will be in the round on a two-foot high stage with three hundred seats going five rows back. “Frank Stanton invited us out to show a new facet of audience what we’re about,” notes Coleman.

Venue changes are nothing new to SCT, as their season includes showing at their home theatre and the Lucas Theatre in addition to the Plantation Club. Director and cast agree that SCT is all about bringing theatre to the community and to an audience that wouldn’t normally get to go out and experience theatre in Savannah.

“While the title alone should draw people to see it, “jokes Alec Caldas, the show’s lone male star,” people should also come to see these great actresses. It’s going to be hilarious, different from other shows going on because it’s plain witty.”

Does Barney ever go through with his plans for adultery? Does he get caught by his wife? Come out to the Landings to find out!

Last of the Red Hot Lovers

When: Oct. 31 & Nov. 6 at 8 p.m., Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. Where: Plantation Club, 400 Landings Way. Cost: $25 for adults, $20 for seniors & military, and $15 for students. Info: www.savannahcommunitytheatre.com

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Ashley Jensen

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