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Plaza Suite


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A: Neil Simon Pf: 1968, New York Pb: 1969 G: 3 linked 1-act dramas S: Plaza Hotel, New York, 1960s C: (1) 3m, 2f; (2) 2m, 1f; (3) 2m, 2f(1) Visitor from Mamaroneck. Because their suburban house is being painted, Sam and Karen Nash make the seemingly romantic gesture of taking the same suite at the Plaza Hotel they had for their honeymoon 24 years previously. But Karen discovers that it is the wrong date, the wrong room, and then that Sam is having an affair with his secretary. She is left to drink champagne alone when he goes out to be with his mistress. (2) Visitor from Hollywood. Jesse Kiplinger is a successful movie producer, in New York on business. He calls up Muriel Tate, a former high school sweetheart, and she comes to his room. They talk of their own lives, of his three divorces and of her humdrum life as a mother of three in the suburbs. By following his career, she has experienced some vicarious excitement. Finally, they go to bed together. (3) Visitor from Forest Hills. Roy and Norma Hubley face a crisis: their daughter Mimsey, minutes before her wedding, has locked herself in the bathroom and refuses to come out. She has had second thoughts about the marriage, because she does not want to end up like her bickering parents. In desperation, Roy tries breaking down the bathroom door and even climbing on to the ledge outside to get in the window. Eventually the bridegroom Borden Eisley arrives and takes charge of the situation. He speaks just two words, and the bride emerges radiant, ready for her wedding. The two words were: ‘Cool it.’These three short plays, which can be performed separately or as an exercise in virtuosity by the same actors performing the roles of man and wife/lover in each piece, offer a fine example of Simon's gently probing depiction of contemporary American marriage. In each there are failed dreams: the hopeless attempt by Karen and Sam to revive the romance of their honeymoon; the admission by Jesse and Muriel that their lives have been loveless; and the frantic, bickering behaviour of the Hubleys. Only Borden's calm authoritative manner seems to hold out promise for the future.

A: Neil Simon Pf: 1968, New York Pb: 1969 G: 3 linked 1-act dramas S: Plaza Hotel, New York, 1960s C: (1) 3m, 2f; (2) 2m, 1f; (3) 2m, 2f

(1) Visitor from Mamaroneck. Because their suburban house is being painted, Sam and Karen Nash make the seemingly romantic gesture of taking the same suite at the Plaza Hotel they had for their honeymoon 24 years previously. But Karen discovers that it is the wrong date, the wrong room, and then that Sam is having an affair with his secretary. She is left to drink champagne alone when he goes out to be with his mistress. (2) Visitor from Hollywood. Jesse Kiplinger is a successful movie producer, in New York on business. He calls up Muriel Tate, a former high school sweetheart, and she comes to his room. They talk of their own lives, of his three divorces and of her humdrum life as a mother of three in the suburbs. By following his career, she has experienced some vicarious excitement. Finally, they go to bed together. (3) Visitor from Forest Hills. Roy and Norma Hubley face a crisis: their daughter Mimsey, minutes before her wedding, has locked herself in the bathroom and refuses to come out. She has had second thoughts about the marriage, because she does not want to end up like her bickering parents. In desperation, Roy tries breaking down the bathroom door and even climbing on to the ledge outside to get in the window. Eventually the bridegroom Borden Eisley arrives and takes charge of the situation. He speaks just two words, and the bride emerges radiant, ready for her wedding. The two words were: ‘Cool it.’

[...]

Subjects: Theatre — Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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Authors

Neil Simon (b. 1927) American dramatist


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