Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon has been a leading figure in American theatre for four decades. To honor his achievements, L.A.'s Skirball Cultural Center is mounting a Neil Simon retrospective between Sept. 15 and Jan. 23, 2000.
Simon, whose new play The Dinner Party opens Dec. 2 at the Mark Taper Forum, will make a rare personal appearance at the Skirball on Oct. 3 at 2 PM, during which he will speak on his career. The program will be moderated by actress Elaine Joyce. Simon will also autograph copies of his new volume of memoirs, "The Play Goes On," just published by Simon & Schuster.
"Neil Simon: A Retrospective" kicks off with a film series (Sept. 15-Nov. 2) that includes "Barefoot in the Park," "The Odd Couple." "The Sunshine Boys," "The Goodbye Girl," "The Out-of-Towners" and "After the Fox," a rarely seen farce starring Peter Sellers, Britt Ekland and Victor Mature.
Jan. 19-23, L.A. Theatre Works will perform Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue in a radio production starring Richard Dreyfus and Marsha Mason (Simon's ex-wife). The show will be recorded before a live audience at the Skirball for later broadcast on KCRW. For tickets and information call L.A. Theatre Works at (310) 827-0889.
The Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. For Retrospective tickets and information series call (310) 440-4500. For tickets to the Mark Taper Forum call (213) 628-2772. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent