By Elizabeth Ann Foster
Plaza Suite was written by Neil Simon, arguably one of America’s greatest playwrights to date. His use of humor to tell soulful stories about the suburbs of New York City and the friction of ordinary lives is spellbinding. He wrote what he knew, which were primarily autobiographical pieces he termed “urban neuroses.” Barefoot in the Park depicted his marriage to his first love and wife. They lived every detail.
The Plaza is a gem of a hotel in NYC. One can only imagine who stays in the suites. Most New Yorkers only get the chance to look up at the building while quickly walking by or in their recollection of actor Paul Hogan as Crocodile Dundee staying in a suite in 1986.
Simon brings one room to life for us in a time capsule of 1968 with three acts and three very different guests staying in Suite 719 for over a year. We have a visitor from Mamaroneck, Hollywood, and Forest Hills, all suburbs except for one from Hollywood who invites a suburbanite in keeping with the plays’ motif.
Matthew Broderick has a long history of acting in Neil Simon productions and has come full circle in this production with his wife, Sarah Jessica Parker. They work together to pull off the three acts.
For the average person, it is a treat to go to yesteryear and relive realistic drama and intrigue. Sitting in the audience, you can say – “I felt that way” or “I’ve been there,” and it would kick Simon to know that he succeeded in bringing what one feels about life to the stage, as he often said in interviews.
This production is closing soon, so I encourage anyone to go and catch it. It may never be revived in the original script again. Some artistic works stand on their own and prevail against the test of time, and this Broadway classic is one of them.
Plaza Suite – by Neil Simon, Directed by John Benjamin Hickey
WITH Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Danny Bolero, Molly Ranson, Eric Weigand, Cesar J. Rosado, and Laurie Veldheer.
John Lee Beatty (set design), Tony Award winner Jane Greenwood (costume design), Brian MacDevitt (lighting design)
At the Hudson Theater Website: thehudsonbroadway.com 141 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036 Phone: (855) 801-5876
Through June 26, 2022