Neil Simon's comedy Laughter on the 23rd Floor opens Sept. 18 in Paris and has been renamed Panier de Crabes. The play is directed by Jacques Rosny.
Luq Hamet and Stephen Harle adapted the play in French and decided to transfer the plot to Paris. As written by Simon, the plot depicted the misfortunes of a TV host during the years of McCarthyism in the United States, and his fears of being fired at any moment. In its French version, the story still takes place in the world of television, but in Paris, nowadays. Trying to find some French equivalence to the McCarthyism, Hamet and Harle decided to focus on the threat of bad audience ratings that have become so important in French television. According to the press release, Simon has approved the French adaptation.
Three other Neil Simon's plays have been adapted in France : The Odd Couple in both male and female versions, Plaza Suite and Rumours.
Georges Beller plays Max Leroy (Max Prince in the original version). Beller, besides of being an actor, is also a TV host in real life. He has played in the French adaptation of Neil Simon's Plaza Suite. Julie Arnold, as the devoted secretary of Max, was also in a French adaptation of another Simon's play, The Odd Couple.
For information on Panier de Crabes at the Theatre Saint-Georges, call 331 48 78 63 47. -- By Stephane Ly-Cuong