Why See Laughter on the 23rd Floor?
Neil Simon's funniest play makes a comeback!
Undoubtedly one of America's most famous playwrights (he does have a Broadway theatre named for him after all!), Neil Simon has been behind popular Broadway works such as The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park and Come Blow Your Horn. However, it was in the fledgling medium of television where Simon really cut his teeth, having written scripts for Your Show of Shows starring Sid Caesar, working alongside Mel Brooks and Woody Allen. This 1993 comedy by Simon takes us into the writer's room of a hit 1950's television show, with all the conflict involved with their brash and arrogant star actor.
Every week during the 1950s, families across the country would crowd around their new television sets to watch their favorite comedy star Max Prince (based on Sid Caesar). A larger than life character, he is loud and commanding, with the power to make or ruin the careers of the writers, at the whim of one of his famous temper tantrums. However, the network censors have plans for the show to make it more appealing to advertisers, which means changing A LOT of the jokes. Max isn't happy, so you can imagine the world of pain heaped upon the writing team! As they strive to make the show funnier and more accessible, we get a first-hand look into how early television evolves, at a time when many thought it was just a phase.
Opening night: 17 January 2017
Suitable for ages 12+ Please note that the language reflects the period of the time when it is set
Two hours, including one intermission
And before you stop reading
Image courtesy of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, by Mark Garvin
Cast and Creative
Directed by Frank Ferrante
Set Design by David Gordon
Lighting Design by J. Dominic
Costume Design by Mark Mariani
Sound Design by Christopher Colucci
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