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Barefoot in the Park

Super Bowl I wasn’t the only thing to come out of 1967. The Montana Repertory Theatre was born, and this year is celebrating its golden anniversary.

The professional touring company will kick off its 50th year with Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park.” The company arrives in Missoula and begins rehearsing for the show at the beginning of January. Opening night on Friday, Jan. 20, will feature a gala fundraiser and anniversary celebration.

According to Montana Rep’s website, “Montana Repertory Theatre was established as a professional touring company in 1967, providing professional theatre to our own and neighboring Western states at an affordable cost.”

A post on the Rep website continues, “The role of the Montana Repertory Theatre, a professional theatre imbedded in the training program in the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Montana, is unique in that the school and the theatre are intertwined in a mutually supportive partnership, pairing professional actors, directors and designers with our students, giving the students invaluable exposure and opportunities in the professional practice of making theatre.”

“Barefoot in the Park” was first produced on Broadway just over 50 years ago, Montana Rep’s website states.

“Corie and Paul Bratter are newlyweds living in New York City. Corie is an impulsive, independent free spirit. Paul is a levelheaded, conservative young lawyer. As the honeymoon ends and reality sets in, the bliss of marriage turns to comical discord. Corie’s mother arrives as an unexpected guest, at loose ends and a bit loopy. Their situation is further complicated by their eccentric, bohemian neighbor … In the midst of all the craziness and quarreling and misunderstanding, the young couple learns to live together, and meet each other halfway,” a news release states.

The play “is a warm and hysterical comedy, beloved by critics and audiences alike,” the release continues.

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