“LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS” A NEIL SIMON CLASSIC


BONNIE GOLDBERG

Barney Cashman has few delusions about his life.  He acknowledges that he is the proud owner of the Queen of the Sea restaurant, that he has been married to wife Thelma for almost a quarter of a century and that he has a certain flair for naming his seafood specialties with alliterative allure.  Conservative, even staid, he stands guard in his shiny blue suit over his culinary castle, but Barney Cashman has a secret fetish.

Let playwright Nail Simon introduce you to Barney, who is part nebbish and part lothario, in “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” at Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin weekends until Saturday, June 18.

George Lombardo’s Barney has booked his mother’s apartment, without her being any the wiser, for a little hanky-panky and extra-curricular sexual activities.  This old-fashioned gentleman is seeking some new-fangled action and first up on his menu of treats is Elaine (Rachel West-Balling) whom he chats up over a shrimp cocktail.

Unfortunately for the inexperienced Don Juan, Elaine is primed and ready for take-off while Barney is still straightening his tie.  Her sarcastic remarks make him more nervous and her need to fill her lungs with cigarette smoke cause their assignation to never ignite.

The eager Barney persists and invites contestant number two to mama’s house, a bubbly, goofy and charming Bobbi Michele, played by a delightfully ditzy Meagan Bomar, whose tales of intrigue would keep James Bond and Lieutenant Columbo busy trying to solve.

The ever-optimistic Barney moves closer to home with number three, to one of his wife’s best gal pals, when he hooks up with Jeannette (Karen Buck).  This time around Barney can’t even get her to let go of her pocketbook much less an article of clothing.  Kris McMurray puts his crew through their paces with verve and vigor.

For tickets ($30), call the CT Cabaret Theatre, 31-33 Webster Mill Plaza, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at www.ctcabaret.com.  Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and don’t forget to bring goodies to share at your table.  Cakes and coffee are also available for purchase.

For two nights only, “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler will return, tonight and Thursday, June 9 at 8 p.m.  It was a sold-out show in its previous engagement.

Help Barney discover something beautiful and loving in his life, a delectable dish he can dine on delightfully as his destiny.

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