Performers from local improv group Walk-In Bathtub will bring Neil Simon’s “London Suite” to the New Bern Civic Theatre stageApril 12-13.
Four distinct stories come to life within the walls of a single hotel suite in this unique tale by one of America’s premier comic playwrights. The four stories include Settling Accounts, Going Home, Diana and Sidney and finally, The Man on the Floor.While each story explores unique relationship challenges and a variety of character flaws, the single hotel suite and Simon’s masterful style of dry humor are the only common thread in a series of mishaps and unforgettable characters.
“London Suite” offers the first scripted production by Walk-In Bathtub. The group has performed three improv shows at New Bern Civic Theatre and has several others scheduled throughout the year, including a show set forMay 4.
“It has been so exciting to see the crowds continue to grow and come back for our shows at the New Bern Civic Theatre,” said George Oliver, founding member of Walk-In Bathtub and cast member of “London Suite.” “We always want to give our audiences something new to come back for. Several members of the group are also regular actors in community theater productions and it just seemed like a great fit for us to try a scripted comedy. We’re not afraid to make fools of ourselves and Neil Simon’s writing certainly lends itself to our style of humor.”
In Settling Accounts, the suite is occupied by an inebriated Welsh writer who is holding his long-time business manager at gunpoint. The villain concocts increasingly farfetched explanations of what he was doing at Heathrow with the cash. Going Home finds a daughter trying to convince her mother to go on a date with a rich Scotsman. The second act opens on abittersweet note with Diana and Sidney, another chapter in the lives of two characters from California Suite. Diana, the Oscar-winning actress, and Sidney, her bisexual husband, are now divorced and are seeing each other for the first time in years.The Man on the Floor introduces an arguing married couple from New York who have lost their tickets to Wimbledon and are about to lose their suite to Kevin Costner.
“Miss Evers’ Boys,” a dramatic play highlighting the Tuskegee medical study performed on African American men from 1932-1972, will premiere on the New Bern Civic Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, and run for two weekends in celebration of Black History Month.
Set in Tuskegee, Alabama, “Miss Evers’ Boys” follows the story of four African American men who unknowingly become part of a medical study that is denying them treatment for syphilis, also known as “bad blood.” Nurse Evers helps lead the men through the treatment program, which is being driven by the Federal government and managed by an African American doctor living in Alabama and a white doctor from Washington, D.C. As the study continues, patients all over the country are cured with the discovery of penicillin, while the men in the Tuskegee Study turn to Nurse Evers for help in understanding why their health continues to decline.
The play stars a cast of several faces that are familiar to New Bern Civic Theatre audiences. The titular role of Miss Evers will be played by Chameshia Coplon, who most recently performed in “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Sweeney Todd.” The cast also includes D’Nadre Bell (“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”), Keith Davis (“Gem of the Ocean”), Duan Higgins (“Alice in Wonderland”), Alan Hopson (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”), Craig Ramey (“Peter and the Starcatcher”) and Herb Robertson (“Much Ado About Nothing”).
“Miss Evers’ Boys” is produced by Meredith McKee and directed by Neil Oliver, star of 2018’s “Sweeney Todd” and director of “My Fair Lady.” It is sponsored by CRNAs of CarolinaEast Medical Center.
This play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 15-16 and 22-23, as well as 2 p.m. matinees on Feb. 17 and 24. Tickets prices range from $17-18 in advance, $19-20 at the door and $10-12 for students and active duty military. New Bern Civic Theatre is required by the State of North Carolina to charge an additional sales tax of 6.75% on all ticket sales.