It is surprising at how well William Inge’s 1955 romantic comedy “Bus Stop” holds up. More than 60 years after it was first performed, it still is touchingly funny, even if some of the concerns about sex outside marriage seem silly today.

The eight-character play is set in a Kansas diner during a snowstorm, where a bus driver and his four passengers are stuck until the road is cleared. It works well on the small stage of Acadia Repertory Theatre in Somesville.

Inge wrote about small town life in the midwest. Most of his plays, including “Come Back, Little Sheba” and “Picnic,” are much darker than “Bus Stop.” Under the direction of C Andrew Mayer, the fine ensemble cast allows the audience to feel like it is sitting in a booth at the diner watching the action unfold. The director uses the set well. The chalkboard menu listing the prices — 5 cents for a cup of coffee and 20 cents for a chili dog — truly roots the production in the early 1950s.

Cowboy Bo Decker (Andy Schnabel) has dragged a reluctant lounge singer named Cherie (Ali Fitzpatrick) onto the bus, hoping she will change her mind and marry him. Ranch hand Virgil Blessing (Michael Kissin) tries to get Bo to rethink his romantic tactics while a drunken college professor (Bernard Hope) tries to charm waitress Elma Duckworth (Mary Paola).

The diner’s owner Grace Haylard (Julie Ann Nevill) and bus driver Carl (Arthur Morison) sneak off to the apartment upstairs for a tryst while Sheriff Will Masters (Frank Bachman) tries to keep order downstairs.

Schnabel is delightfully charming as the overbearing cowboy. It is had not to love him even if his courting style borders on abusive. The actor’s performance in “Bus Stop” is so far removed from his portrayal of a young minister in “Christians” that it is hard to believe Schnabel played them both.

As Cherie, Ali Fitzpatrick is more Loretta Lynn than Marilyn Monroe, who played the role in the 1956 film. Fitzpatrick’s Cherie is down to earth but street savvy. Her reluctance to embrace life on a Montana ranch with a cowboy whose love borders on obsession is understandable. The actress makes Cherie’s change of heart believable because she plays it as a chance for adventure rather than true love.

The supporting players, especially Paola, Nevill and Morison, are just as convincing, but Hope’s Lyman is a difficult character to portray in the 21st century. Lyman is a drunk who has a penchant for teenage girls like the diner’s young waitress, a high school student.

Hope does an excellent job of playing the Shakespeare spouting, continually soused professor. But watching the professor try to groom Elma so he can sexually abuse her makes theatergoers squirm in their seats when Inge may have intended them to laugh.

Elizabeth Braley’s costumes, Mayer’s set and the classic country music played in-between scenes keeps the show firmly rooted in the time period the playwright wrote it.

On the whole, this “Bus Stop” is a satisfying place to spend a couple of hours, even if the menu and a couple of the characters seem dated.

“Bus Stop” will be performed at Acadia Repertory Theatre through Sunday. For information, call 244-7260 or visit