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Barefoot in the Park

Watched Evam’s Barefoot in the Park last night. It was a quite a wonderful show, and the talent of the actors was undeniable.

I watched a play after nearly three years. I had almost forgotten the feeling of watching theatre in Chennai – it is a unique and powerfully moving experience. The audience and the players connect palpably, more so in a performance like Barefoot in the Park, where part of the performance extended off the stage into the aisle, and also outside the auditorium. The Sivagami Pethachi auditorium was cosy and compact, and the Chennai theatre audience was as empathetic as ever.

Evam's Sunil Vishnu (with broom in hand), the cast and crew of Barefoot in the ParkEvam's Karthik (the guy in the tie!), the cast and crew of Barefoot in the Park

The scene changes brought on a couple of dancers, who conveyed in dance the mood of the scene. They were graceful and strong, and their skill did take my breath away. The play itself was very well-executed. To my untrained eye, it seemed as if the actors were very comfortable doing what they were doing. No slip up or improv was noticeable, except in one instance, and that too was done very smoothly. The entire production was so well done that one is tempted to think that it was part of the script!

Sunil Vishnu of Evam, playing many different roles, was the point of contact with the audience – talking to us, getting us to applaud, rousing us from our seats to go outside to watch the action in an Albanian restaurant in Staten Island, getting us to fill out feedback and contest forms during the break… Evam’s Karthik played Paul Bratter, a young New York lawyer whose marriage to the incurably romantic and a-wee-bit-unpractical Corie, is the starting point of the play.

The whole production was very well-managed, and the comedy was rousing. The script flowed well, and the dialogues were witty – especially those of Paul and Corie’s mother. Personally, I felt that Karthik’s rendition of Paul Bratter had more than a hint of Eric McCormack in Will and Grace, while Mr. Velasco was faintly reminiscent of Remo in Caroline in the City.

In all, it was a delightful romp and a good time was had by all!

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