A Cover Story: Simon Plays and Oleanna

PlayBlog   A Cover Story: Simon Plays and Oleanna
 
The Neil Simon Plays brings two of the playwright's beloved works back to Broadway for the first time. Playing in repertory, Brighton Beach Memoirs begins previews at the Nederlander Theatre Oct. 2 with Broadway Bound's first performance scheduled for Nov. 18.


The semi-autobiographical comedies center on young Eugene Morris Jerome. The earlier play concerns a teenage Eugene and his extended family living in a crowded home in the Brighton Beach section of 1937 Brooklyn. As the teen spends his time daydreaming about baseball, he copes with his family's troubles, his awkward discovery of the opposite sex and his developing identity as a writer.

The second installment takes place a decade later in the 1940s when Eugene and his older brother Stanley, now working as professional comedy writers, use their parents' crumbling marriage as inspiration for a radio comedy skit.

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Another prolific great American playwright, David Mamet, will also see two of his works staged on Broadway this season.  Prior to the November world premiere of the closely guarded Race, a revival of Oleanna begins at the John Golden Theatre Sept. 29.

This production of the controversial work stars Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles in the roles originated in 1992 by William H. Macy and Rebecca Pidgeon. Doug Hughes directs.

The story is an account of the struggle that erupts when a female university student charges her male professor with sexual harassment.  Mamet takes on incendiary topics such as assumption of power, intellectual freedom and sexual politics.

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