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Theatre / Barefoot in the Park

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A popular Romantic Comedy by Neil Simon, which premiered on Broadway in 1963.

Newlyweds Corie and Paul Bratter return from their honeymoon ready to start their exciting new life together in a minuscule fifth-floor walkup apartment in a Greenwich Village brownstone, but things aren't exactly going as planned. The impulsive Corie's apartment choice doesn't meet Paul's — or any sane person's — standards. Six exhausting flights of stairs lead to a one-room apartment which lacks bathtub, furniture, heat, and room for a double bed. What highlights does the apartment supply? Eccentric neighbors, including the attic-dwelling Victor Velasco, and a giant hole in the skylight. Still, Corie is determined to make things work, even playing matchmaker between Velasco and her widowed mother, Ethel Banks.

Mike Nichols directed the original Broadway production, which starred Robert Redford as Paul, Elizabeth Ashley as Corie, Mildred Natwick as Ethel, and Kurt Kasznar as Velasco. A feature film adaptation, directed by Gene Saks, was released in 1967; Redford and Natwick reprised their stage roles, with Jane Fonda appearing as Corie and Charles Boyer as Velasco. The play has also received two TV adaptations: a short-lived ABC sitcom in 1970 and a 1980 special on HBO.


  • The Alleged House: There are multiple quirks in the apartment, one which sees a lot of use for laughs (and drama) being that it doesn't has a good insulation, which allows the New York winter cold to seep in. It's also five floors up in a building with no elevator and almost everybody that arrives is winded.
  • Alliterative Name: Victor Velasco the landlord.
  • Beta Couple: Victor Velasco and Corie's mom, Ethel, get a romance Arc of their own while everything else is happening.
  • Call-Back: To the Title Drop and Paul's observation that Corie likes to go barefoot in the park. Towards the end Corie finds a very drunk Paul in Central Park. Paul, who has in fact lost his shoes, walks away and laughs that now he's going barefoot in the park.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Paul and Mr Velasco. The former more deadpan and latter definetly more snarky.
  • Exiled to the Couch: When Corie is on the verge of divorcing Paul, she shuts herself in the bedroom and throws out a pillow, blanket, and sheet so Paul can go to sleep on the sofa. He tries to...and then snow starts falling on his head through the broken skylight, leaving him with a cold the next day.
  • Funny Foreigner: Victor Velasco. He plays vaguely Asian music on his stereo, he lives in an attic, he cooks his guests a weird dish made out of eels...
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: In the film, Paul and Corie don't leave their honeymoon suite for days.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Corie. Explored both for laughs and for drama — sure, Uptight Loves Wild, but once Paul reaches his limit of how much he can tolerate of said manic attitude, hurt ensues.
  • Non-Specifically Foreign: Velasco. Most tellingly, he takes great pride in his knichi, an exotic dish of unknown origin and one that is non-existent in real life. He was also portrayed by an Austrian and a Frenchman in the original Broadway production and film adaptation, respectively.
  • Romantic Comedy: A romantic comedy about an Uptight Loves Wild couple that apparently married impulsively, then have to get used to living life together.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Paul is a straight-laced attorney, Corie a far more spontaneous free spirit.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Corie is shown wearing Paul's shirt after he leaves their honeymoon suite for the first time. The scene currently provides the trope's page image.
  • Title Drop: Corie and Paul have a fight where she says they have nothing in common, and he says "Why? Because I won't go barefoot in the park?"
  • Toilet Seat Divorce: Paul and Corie have a blow-up after the uncomfortable evening out with Victor Velasco and Corie's mom, which starts with them arguing about his fuddy-duddy ways and her rather extreme Manic Pixie Dream Girl ways, which eventually blows up into Corie demanding a divorce.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Deliberately engineered by Corie, when she apparently reaches for her husband's crotch in a crowded elevator. He chortles and says "Stop it!"
  • Uptight Loves Wild: The relationship of Paul and Corie, in a nutshell. Played for drama eventually, though, with Paul starting to doubt he actually loves Corie's wildness that much.

Alternative Title(s): Barefoot In The Park