Playcrafters could not have picked a more perfect play to surround Valentine’s Day, like the warm, adorable hug it is.

Neil Simon’s witty, wonderful romantic comedy “Barefoot in the Park” (1963) – set in February, but no reference to Valentine’s — is given an outstanding, emotional production at the Barn Theatre, kicking off its 94th season (!).

Augie seniors Will Crouch and Sarah Walton play Neil Simon newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter, in February 1963.

The beautifully cast Augustana seniors Will Crouch and Sarah Walton (theater veterans on their college campus) are making their impressive Playcrafters debut as newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter, directed by Adam Lewis.

They say that opposites attract and this is true here in many more ways than one.

Paul is a stuck-up, straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and Corie is a fearless free spirit always looking for the latest kick. Their new New York City apartment is her most recent find – too expensive and too small, with bad plumbing, a hole in the skylight and five tiring flights up (with no elevator).

The sweet, nostalgic rom-com (which ran on Broadway for 1,530 performances) was Simon’s second play, and made into a 1967 film, directed by Gene Saks from a screenplay by Simon, starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.

Sarah Walton in Playcrafters’ new “Barefoot in the Park.”

At Playcrafters, the “odd couple” (the name of Simon’s iconic 1965 play, later turned into a classic film and TV series) aspect is reinforced in the physicality of the exuberantly energetic Crouch and Walton.

He’s tall, towering over her – and director Lewis wisely compensates for this by occasionally having Walton leap into his arms and reach up her arms around his neck on tip toes; Crouch literally crouching down on bended knee, and alternating scenes where they’re seated (once the couple gets furniture, of course).

In the breezy, funny story (which builds to a dramatic climax), Paul and Corie move into their empty place after a six-day honeymoon at The Plaza, and wait for their furniture to arrive.

Walton is super cute, with an irresistible smile and laugh, and shares a great chemistry with Crouch, who’s dominant and confident as the attorney starting his career.

Jake Ladd plays Victor Velasco and Alexa Florence is Corie’s mother.

They get a surprise visit from Corie’s mother (a solid, world-weary Alexa Florence as the nervous Ethel) and Corie decides to play matchmaker during a dinner with their colorful neighbor-in-the-attic, Victor Velasco, where everything that can go wrong does.

The Californian veteran actor Jake Ladd steals every scene he’s in as the flamboyant, flirting Victor. Ladd’s amazing bio lists a long career in theater, film and TV and his controlled, precise scenes in “Barefoot” here are a stitch – you could create a technicolor dreamcoat with all the material he provides, yet he never veers overboard by hamming it up.

Jake Ladd and Alexa Florence in the new Playcrafters production.

Thayne Lamb (who reveals unerring timing and sensitivity) shines in two key bits as the crucial telephone repair man.

The delightful play (one of four Neil Simon had running simultaneously on Broadway in 1966) gets its name from Corie wanting her love to let his hair down and be more spontaneous – like running barefoot in the park.

After a bitter fight with yelling and crying, we see how that title is manifested, as Crouch delivers a whole different side of his character.

Crouch and Walton at the first scene of “Barefoot in the Park.”

If you need an ideal Valentine’s gift, this is a theatrical box of chocolates – sweet, delicious and eminently satisfying. (Two minor quibbles – playing “Christmastime Is Here” at the end of Act 2 is out of place, and the show poster reflecting the modern skyline at Central Park also doesn’t fit the 1963 setting.)

“Barefoot in the Park” continues at 7:30 p.m. this Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday, at 4950 35th Ave., Moline. For tickets and more information, visit the Playcrafters website HERE.