NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – The freshly spruced up stage of Croton Falls’ Schoolhouse Theater is burning with passion these days as a quartet of talented players perform Neil Simon’s “Last of the Red Hot Lovers.”
The lover in point, played with persuasive blunder by frequent Schoolhouse star, Kevin Cristaldi, is a 1960s victim of middle-age crisis, trying his darnedest to become a mod-type swinger. His choice of paramours: the sexy Elaine, ready for action; Bobbi, a ditsy pothead flitting through her own ego-trip; and Jeanette, a suburban biddy poised to drop the hammer, do not make for a smooth transformation. The women are played equally and convincingly well by Anette Michelle Sanders, Lauren Currie Lewis and Helen Greenberg. All members of the cast are in Actors Equity, meaning they have been established as professional performers.
Recent renovations at the Schoolhouse include new seats, an enlarged stage, improved lighting and acoustics, refurbished restrooms, and sufficient, well-marked parking. Because of the theater’s size – there are roughly 100 seats – every performance seems intimate and personal.
Between the excellence of the cast, the professionalism of the staff, and the skill of the director, theater in Croton Falls is as good as anything you might see Off-Broadway and sometimes better. In fact, several Off-Broadway productions originated there. These include Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” Ingmar Bergman’s “Nora,” and S. N. Berhman’s “Biography.”
“Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” ran for nearly two years on Broadway, originally starring James Coco, then Dom DeLuise. It received three Tony nominations. The film version starred Alan Arkin.
Like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Woody Allen, Neil Simon started his comedy-writing career creating material for the early television shows of Sid Caesar. Since his first Broadway production, “Come Blow Your Horn” in 1963, Simon has written more than 30 plays, dozens of screenplays, and has won multiple Emmys, Tonys, Writers Guild awards, Drama Desk awards, Golden Globes, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
“Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” will be presented at the Schoolhouse Theater every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at 8 p.m. and every Sunday at 3 p.m., until June 30. Tickets are $33 for Thursdays and Fridays, $35 for Saturdays and Sundays. Seats are unreserved, but every seat is a good one.
Season subscriptions for the Schoolhouse offer advantages such as discounts from regular prices, ticket exchange privileges and first choice of performance dates. To purchase tickets or a subscription or for more information, go to the website .
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