Aaron J. Lord and Vickie Underwood in Proposals at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre -- March 9 through 18.

Friday, March 9, through Sunday, March 18

Playcrafters Barn Theatre, 4950 35th Avenue, Moline IL

Although best known for his fast-paced verbal slapsticks, Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright Neil Simon has also exposed a more serious side in such works as Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound, and Lost in Yonkers, and Simon's knack for both comedy and drama will be on display in Playcrafters' March 9 through 18 staging of Proposals, a work the Houston Press called “gentle and warm, like a late August breeze ruffling the leaves.”

Proposals, which opened on Broadway in November of 1997, is Simon's elegiac memory play that recalls the last time the Hines family gathered at their retreat in the Poconos. The summer of 1953 brings romantic entanglements that coalesce one idyllic afternoon while Burt Hines – a man in his mid-50s convalescing from a second heart attack – eagerly anticipates the arrival of the ex-wife he still loves. Daughter Josie, meanwhile, has just broken off her engagement to a Harvard law student and pines for his buddy Ray, an aspiring writer with whom she once had a brief fling. And Clemma, the African-American housekeeper at the center of the action, casts an astute eye on the family's many complications while also facing her own unresolved past.

Playcrafters' latest is being directed by Phil Cathoir, a veteran of the theatre's productions of M*A*S*H and Good People, while Teresa Moore portrays Proposals' central role of Clemma. And joining Moore are eight frequent area performers and Playcrafters veterans: Victor Angelo (Marrying Terry), Jim Driscoll (12 Angry Men), Renaud Haymon (Fences), Sondra Karben (And Then There Were None), Aaron J. Lord (Rumors), Tyler Henning (The 13th of Paris), Vickie Underwood (Stocking Stuffers), and Elle Winchester (Miracle on 34th Street).

Proposals runs on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m., tickets are $13, and more information and reservations are available by calling (309)762-0330 or visiting Playcrafters.com.

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