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The New Jewish Theatre opens its nineteenth season with the Neil Simon comedy "The Sunshine Boys," a sweet tribute to the era of vaudeville that's also an honest look at aging in an American culture increasingly focused on youth. Engaging performances and a pleasantly amusing script ensure this show is entertaining even for audiences with no recollection of the uniquely American variety of entertainment known as vaudeville.

Published in Theater Reviews

Neil Simon's "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" is a memory play. A writer remembers his younger days and the people he worked with on his first job in the big time.

Published in Theater Reviews
Sunday, 06 October 2013 14:34

Did You Hear the One About The Good Doctor?

It occurred to me watching “The Good Doctor” this time that its eight vignettes both riff on sketch comedy shows like Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows" where playwright Neil Simon got his start, and are extended jokes. They all have a setup, middle and a punch line or “punch situation” of one kind or another.

Published in Theater Reviews
Monday, 10 June 2013 21:19

The second time around

Playwright Neal Simon is very generous in his play "Chapter Two".

Published in Theater Reviews
Monday, 08 October 2012 12:08

Two boys 'found' in Yonkers

The New Jewish Theatre’s production of Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers is a delight from beginning to end. It isn’t a perfect play, but under the sure direction of Doug Finlayson and the abundance of talent on stage and behind the scenes, it is rendered as a lovely and relatable story of family with all that word emotions that powerful word connotes.

Published in Theater Reviews
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 22:14

'God's Favorite' is a trial

If anyone can transform the Book of Job into a comedy, it’s Neil Simon. So I thought. I was wrong.

Published in Theater Reviews
Tuesday, 05 April 2011 00:05

Not so sweet

Some movies don't need to be made into musicals. Some musicals don't need to be revived.

Published in Theater Reviews

There's something just very simple, and pure, and satisfying about good theatre. A good script, in the hands of capable actors, and with competent technical support, is more rare than one might think. But not so rare that you can't see it now in St. Louis Actors' Studio's current production of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys. Being presented at the intimate Gaslight Theatre in midtown St. Louis, this production is just good theatre. Not perfect theatre, but VERY GOOD theatre.

Published in Theater Reviews

Dr. Anton Chekhov wrote short humor pieces to help pay his way through medical school long before he became one of Russia's (and the world) foremost playwrights. Neil Simon's nickname is "Doc," because of his talent as a play doctor. The former's stories and sketches aren't very funny anymore, but they found a second life after Simon performed his ultimate fix-it, adapting the old tales to appeal to modern sensibilities; a second opinion, in a way. And Avalon's slick production of the result, The Good Doctor, provides a lot of laughter which is, of course, the best medicine.

Published in Theater Reviews
Thursday, 22 July 2010 21:12

Promises, Promises

Promises, Promises is the only musical written by composer Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David. There's a reason for that: the music is (mostly) completely unmemorable. When the Broadway revival opened earlier this year, two more songs were added for Kristin Chenoweth, “I Say a Little Prayer” being one of them, and it is considerably stronger than anything in the original. However, that makes the show even longer than its current 2 hours, 45 minutes, which is not a good thing.
Published in Theater Reviews