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Surrey stage for duo in sexually awkward comedy of Neil Simon’s ‘The Last of the Red Hot Lovers’

One actor cast in the three female roles of play, opening Friday night at Surrey Arts Centre
Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s version of “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers” stars Justin Spurr as Barney Cashman and Cystal Weltzin in the play’s three female roles (Elaine, Bobbi and Jeanette). Submitted photos

Surrey’s Royal Canadian Theatre Company returns to the stage with a “spicy” production of a Neil Simon’s “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers.”

The comedy opens at Surrey Arts Centre’s Studio Theatre this Friday and Saturday (March 17-18, three stagings) before moving to Anvil Theatre in New Westminster for more show times starting March 24.

Directed by Nicole DesLauriers, the production promises “giggles, guffaws and a gleeful evening out,” the theatre company says.

“The Last of the Red Hot Lovers” typically involves four actors (one man, three women) but artistic director Kerri Norris put a spin on this production by casting one woman in all three roles. Crystal Weltzin juggles the roles of Elaine, Bobbi and Jeanette opposite Justin Spurr’s portrayal of Barney Cashman.

“The acting duo have had so much fun creating this production and working together in each act to create a fun, sexually awkward comedy,” RCTC says in an event advisory.


The plot: Barney is 47, happily married, the father of three children, a successful businessman and a man going through a midlife crisis. How could he have lived for so long and yet feel like he has done so little? The play examines what it means to grow older, and asks the question, What do you do when it seems as if your life hasn’t been fully lived? How many chances will Barney get to create a beautiful moment and how many strangers will he bring back to his mother’s apartment?

“The Last of the Red Hot Lovers” is the final play selected by Royal Canadian’s artistic director emeritus, Ellie King, before her retirement from the company.

Friday night’s performance in Surrey will offer post-show snacks and a preview of Royal Canadian’s 2023-24 season of plays. Show times at the arts centre are 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3:30 and 7:30 Saturday. Tickets range from $24.99 to $34.99 on, or call 604-501-5566.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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