Pulitzer-winning playwright Neil Simon's will return to Broadway in 1997 with his next project, Proposals -- but first he'll see the world premiere in Los Angeles.
Simon's comedy will run July 8-Aug. 31, 1997 at LA's Ahmanson Theatre as the final production of the theatre's 30 anniversary season.
Ahmanson artistic director Gordon Davidson said there may be other stops before New York. Joe Mantello (Love! Valour! Compassion!) will stage the comedy.
Variety described the play as being about a man who is recovering from a heart attack in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. He is visted by his ex-wife and his grown daughter, who is dealing with some of her own issues of the heart. Variety said the play interweaves "themes of mortality, love and forgiveness."
Producer Emanuel Azenberg's office confirmed that Simon was working on a project of that title, but press agent Bill Evans' office said that there was "nothing further" confirmed about the project yet. The plan to open on Broadway is significant. Simon opened his last play, London Suite off-Broadway, complaining that costs on Broadway had become burdensome. However, London Suite had a comparatively modest six-month run off-Broadway, compared to the year-plus runs for some of his Broadway hits, including, but scarcely limited to: Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Promises, Promises, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Rumors, Pulitzer-winner Lost in Yonkers and Tony-winner Biloxi Blues.
Proposals marks the sixth time the Ahmanson Theatre has hosted a Neil Simon premiere. The others have been California Suite (1976), Chapter Two (1977), They're Playing Our Song (1978), Brighton Beach Memoirs (1982); and Biloxi Blues (1984).
The show will be presented as part of a four-play Ahamanson subscription. Subscriptions cost $82 to $232.50. For information or subscriptions: (213) 972-0700.