Tipling Theatre Company goes Barefoot in the Park

October 19, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Tipling Stage Company is proud to invite you for their production of Barefoot in the Park, the 1963 whimsical  movie and play written by Neil Simon about a relatively mismatched couple, he a serious young lawyer and she a “bonne vivante” (sic).There is still the chance to catch it on the evening shows of Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22.

Originally, so director, Denis Stephenson, told us, “We were going to do No Sex Please, We’re British but there weren’t enough male actors auditioning. So, we scrambled and decided to do Barefoot. I already knew that we had two excellent people for the lead roles.”

These are Jess Walker, as Corie who studied Theatre Arts in Windsor but now owns a small winery in Flesherton; opposing her, in more ways than one, is Jan Gumulikn, as Paul. Mr. Gumulikn is a school teacher when he is off stage. Ms Walker’s father is also a member of the cast.

Of course, like many plays coming out of the mid-Twentieth Century, there are adjustments needed to the dialogue.

Said Mr Stephenson, “We changed a few lines for political correctness but the play is essentially a ‘60’s play and we didn’t want to alter that. She is a ‘60’s woman and there are references to the technology of the day, rotary telephones and all that.”

He added, “We’re having fun doing it – we managed to get a stove and fridge from the ‘60’s, which we want to hang on to when we can find the storage for them. Lots of plays have kitchen scenes in them. So, there’s a lot of use for them.”

The plot of the play is fairly basic, the joy of it lies in the humour of the two struggling with their new life of being recently married and the wide division in their personalities. This, their first home, is a apartment on the fourth floor of a Brownstone in New York City.

With Paul’s straight laced approach to his early days as a lawyer, his fascinating wife, Corie, determines to make him loosen his ways – to walk barefoot in the park with her. Adding to the mix is the somewhat older and nevertheless flirtatious Victor Velasco, a neighbour living upstairs, who is enchanted by the lovely Corie and her sunny ways. She attempts to send him a blind date with her mother.

Mr. Stephenson somewhat shyly admitted that he is playing the role of Victor. “We’ll have to stretch it a bit. People will have to use their imaginations,” he laughed, implying a reference to his age as being somewhat more than the usual for the role: “we’ll just use lower lights,” he joked.

Like all theatre groups, TSC could not exist without their volunteers. Always quick to sing their praises, Mr. Stephenson talked about the young people who have come on board with the rest of the members, equally volunteers.

“Wendy Walker – no relation to Jess – is a school bus driver who brings a couple of high school girls with her to help and they’re terrific,” he explained as he was outlining the bounce between directing and acting in the same production. “Wendy is a retired from the Orangeville Police. She was the first female cop in Orangeville.”

The Tipling Stage Company presented its first production, Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite in October, 2008. The company produces two shows a year as well as a Christmas performance which involve other community groups.

For Barefoot in the Park, opening Friday, October 14, running the 15th and 16th, as well as the following Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22, information about tickets can be found at

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