Bethlehem Players Have Neil Simon Classic in Revamped Center

Barefoot in the ParkFRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Bethlehem Players have kicked off their 2013 season with Neil Simon’s classic Barefoot in the Park. The show runs through March 16 at the Bethlehem United Methodist Church’s Performing Arts Center off Hillsboro Road. That center sports a new state-of-the-art lighting system and elevated seating.

Set in New York City of another era in a five-flight walk-up apartment, the classic comedy is the story of newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter (played by Will Butler and Jami Winfrey). He is a conservative young lawyer; she is his irrepressible bride. Humor and conflict arise as they deal with the reality of marriage once the honeymoon is over. The show is directed by Johnny Peppers.

Bethlehem Players artistic director Dietz Osborne says the play offers a delightful evening of entertainment. “We are so proud to have been saving money since staging Fiddler on the Roof in 2005 to make this new addition to the Bethlehem UMC performing arts space,” he adds. “Nationally recognized lighting expert Seth Robinson has lent his expertise and we are now offering a full-theater experience and a wonderful night of family entertainment right here in the Grassland Community.”

WaterStep is the benefiting charity this year and patrons are encouraged to donate shoes, tied together if possible, to help this organization use shoe recycling to help fund safe water projects across the world.

Barefoot in the Park dates, times and tickets are available online at the site by clicking here or by calling (615) 669-BPAC (2722). Show-only tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for high school students and younger; dinner and show tickets are $22 for adults and $18 for high students and younger. For directions to the center please visit  Group discounts of 10 percent are available for parties of 10 or more paying with one check.

The Bethlehem Players are celebrating their 16th year of exceptional family entertainment staging productions in the Bethlehem Performing Arts Center at Bethlehem United Methodist Church (2419 Bethlehem Loop Rd.). This year the Bethlehem Players will also stage Hello, Dolly! (October) and the radio show version of It’s a Wonderful Life (December). Dates and open audition times will be announced later.

Bethlehem UMC’s community theater outreach program was founded in 1997. Since its inception the Bethlehem Players have successfully staged for packed audiences a spectrum of shows ranging from Annie to Steel Magnolias as well as the world premiere productions of Southern Fried Funeral and Southern Fried Nuptials.

*Photo by Chris Bosen of (L to R) Jami Winfrey and Will Butler in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park courtesy Bethlehem Players.

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