As reported in Theatrical Index and confirmed by Tina Staff, of the League Of American Theatres and Producers, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Neil Simon will return to Broadway Nov. 6, 1997 with his next project, Proposals -- but first he'll see the world premiere in Los Angeles, as reported previously on Playbill On-Line.
Simon's comedy will run July 8-Aug. 31, 1997, with an opening set for July 16, at LA's Ahmanson Theatre as the final production of the theatre's 30th anniversary season. According to Theatrical Index, in September the show will play two 2-week engagements in as yet un-announced theatres, followed by a month at the Eisenhower in DC (Oct. 1-26). Tony Sherwood, Press Director for the Ahmanson, had no further information on the show beyond confirming the production dates, though he did say Proposals was in the process of casting.
Ahmanson artistic director Gordon Davidson said there may be other stops before New York. Joe Mantello (Love! Valour! Compassion!) will stage the comedy, which is being produced by Emanuel Azenberg.
The nine-character play is 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."
Theatrical Index quotes Simon as saying that his first outdoor play "is sort of A Midsummer Night's Dream, but it's not Shakespearean." 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.