Ten essential plays by Neil Simon, one of the world’s most celebrated, translated, and widely performed playwrights.
Barefoot in the Park: Newlyweds move into a new apartment with no furniture, the wrong paint, a leaking skylight, and wacky neighbors! A classic comedy! Performed by Laura Linney, Eric Stoltz, et al.
The Odd Couple: Two legendarily mismatched roommates bring down the house in this classic comedy by America’s most successful playwright. Performed by Dan Castellaneta, Nathan Lane, et al.
Plaza Suite: This hilarious comedy follows three brief encounters in the same suite at the famed Plaza Hotel in New York City. Performed by Ed Asner, Richard Dreyfuss, et al.
The Prisoner of Second Avenue: Fast-moving dialog with nonstop Simon quips and jokes performed extremely well by two fine actors. Performed by Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, et al.
California Suite: Four couples separately inhabit the same Beverly Hills hotel suite, bringing along their problems, anxieties, and comical marital dilemmas. Performed by Dennis Boutsikaris, Bruce Davison, Marsha Mason, and Amy Pietz.
Chapter Two: Comedy and pathos mingle brilliantly in this portrait of a widowed novelist who fears he’ll never love again. Performed by David Dukes, Sharon Gless, Gates McFadden, and Grant Shaud.
Brighton Beach Memoirs: In Simon’s first installment of his darkly funny semiautobiographical Eugene Trilogy, we meet his family in 1930s Brooklyn. Performed by Jonathan Silverman, et al.
Biloxi Blues: The second hilarious installment of the trilogy follows a naïve Eugene Jerome through boot camp. Performed by Justine Bateman, et al.
Broadway Bound: In the final installment of the trilogy, Eugene and his brother, Stanley, pair up to break into the world of comedy writing. Performed by Dan Castellaneta, et al.
Lost in Yonkers: Set in Yonkers, New York, in 1942, two boys, aged 13 and 16, must spend one year with their austere and demanding grandmother. Performed by Dan Castellaneta, et al.
©2010 Neil Simon (P)2010 L.A. Theatre Works
A lover of thrillers and enthralling stories told by dramatic and well read narrators.
A wonderful set of performances.
The time period in which each was set and the wonderful performances
Each was genuine, and made the time fly by
In Brighton Beach, Brooklyn NY...
a lifestyle photographer. has a love affair with beautiful things.
I'm only done with the part 1 of 3 and I am hating the fact it will end in some certain point. I'm not usually into theatre but this kept me glued. Characters were so well played with Neil's life stories. Totally worth the credit!
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This collection includes ten plays by Neil Simon. All of these had good, if not quite great, production values. There were a few flubbed lines and some of the audio titles are messed up, but the acting and audio quality are generally superb. I really enjoyed a few of these plays, but most I found entertaining yet they left me wanting. Virtually all of these plays seemed to me to be about eighty five percent of a truly great play. They have great characters, dialog, humor, wit, timing, but they we lacking the essential meaning that makes a great play far more than entertainment.
I liked Prisoner of Second Avenue and Barefoot in the Park the best as, in addition to wonderful acting and characters, below the humor and plot there were undercurrents concerning desire and need that brings these plays to near greatness, yet even these left me desiring just a little something more.
The Odd Couple did not move me, but was the most entertaining of the rest of the bunch. It was quite funny and delightfully played.
The coming of age plays including Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, Broadway Bound, and Lost in Yonkers are all quite good with great characters, lots of laughs and
some poignancy, but were just good entertainment.
The Suite plays Plaza Suite and California Suite are a bunch of short scenes set in hotels. These were my least favorite plays in this collection as they didn't really take me anywhere.
Overall this is a good collection of plays that I am glad to have listened to, but this is not a collection I will listen to again and again.
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