Neil Simon's Proposals Opens on B'way Tonight

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
and David Lefkowitzand
06 Nov 1997

L. Scott Caldwell and Mel Winkler in <I>Proposals</I>
L. Scott Caldwell and Mel Winkler in Proposals
Photo by Photo by Craig Schwartz/Jay Thompson

Neil Simon's latest comedy, Proposals, opens Nov. 6 opening at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre.

Neil Simon's latest comedy, Proposals, opens Nov. 6 opening at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre.

The production co-stars Dick Latessa, whose many credits include The Will Rogers Follies, Off-Broadway's Philemon, the 1996 "Encores!" concert staging of Du Barry Was A Lady, 1994's Damn Yankees and 1992's Juno at NY's Vineyard Theatre.

Simon, a Pulitzer Prize winner (Lost in Yonkers) who turned 70 this year, told Variety that Proposals might be his last play because it takes too long to get a play on stage. However, he'll continue writing for film and TV and is working on a sequel to The Odd Couple titled Odd Couple II - Travelin' Light, to be directed by Howard Deutsch, for either film or TV.

Alongside Latessa, Proposals stars Kelly Bishop, L. Scott Caldwell, Suzanne Cryer, Katie Finnernan, Matt Letscher, Peter Rini, Reg Rogers (Holiday) and Mel Winkler. Joe Mantello (Love! Valour! Compassion!) has staged the comedy, which is produced by Emanuel Azenberg. Sets are by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting by Brian MacDevitt and sound by Tom Clark.

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 quoted 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.

Tickets are on sale through Telecharge at (212) 239-6200. You can also order tickets on Playbill On-Line.