The Virginia Repertory Theatre has a new production of ”Last of the Red Hot Lovers," Neil Simon’s comedic sex romp at Hanover Tavern; one of the few places you can enjoy gourmet southern cuisine and a night of theater in a 1770s tavern where George Washington stayed and Patrick Henry bartended.
The play follows a married nebbish who wants nothing more than to engage in the free love spirit of the sexual revolution. With an immensely talented cast of four, director Steve Perigard shows the complexity of the time with an outstanding cast, a period perfect set and 60's music playing in the background.
We are familiar with the sexual revolution, sexism and drug experimentation in the 60's from the show “Mad Men” but Barney Cashman (played here by Scot Wichmann, Richmond’s crown jewel of physical comedy) is the total opposite of Don Draper – nervous, nerdy and innocent. Barney sees the sexual promiscuity all around and he wants to be a part of the fun. Wichmann delivers Cashman in a laugh out loud performance that is sure to win him more fans.
Cashman encounters three female archetypes of the era. First up is the Sexpot, brilliantly played by Eva DeVigillis, a hardened, hedonistic, self- destructive woman.
The next is a flighty aspiring actress, delightfully played by Maggie Roop. She weaves stories of sinister past lovers out to get her as she unexpectedly breaks out into joyful songs of the era.
Lastly, his best friend’s wife (portrayed by the emotionally vulnerable Deborah Wagoner) who ambiguously hits on him at a neighborhood swingers party.
"Last of the Red Hot Lovers" is a funny and poignant tale by one of the masters of American stage. Don't miss this unique opportunity to see this wonderful cast in a charming and historic setting here in the Richmond Region now through Aug. 30.