I spent a good part of REHAB listing to audiobooks. This collection of Neil Simon plays was a little different. The cast of the L.A. Theatre Works present 10 of Neil Simon’s best known plays. My favorites are Barefoot in the Park , Plaza Suite and Brighton Beach Memoirs. If you’re a Neil Simon fan, this wonderful set is a must-listen-to experience. At one time, Neil Simon was the top comedy writer on Broadway. These comedic plays show you why he was so popular.
Barefoot in the Park
Newlyweds move into a new apartment with no furniture, the wrong paint, leaking skylight and wacky neighbors! A classic comedy! Performed by: Norman Aronovic, Laura Linney, J. Fred Shiffman, Judy Simmons and Eric Stoltz.

The Odd Couple
Two legendarily mismatched roommates bring down the house in this classic comedy by America’s most successful playwright. Performed by: Dan Castellaneta, Stanley DeSantis, Steven Hack, Jamie Hanes, Nathan Lane, David Paymer, Linda Purl and Yeardley Smith.

Plaza Suite
Neil Simon’s hilarious comedy follows three brief encounters in the same suite at the famed Plaza Hotel in New York City. Performed by: Edward Asner, Michelle Costa, Richard Dreyfuss, Hector Elizondo, Amy Irving, Marsha Mason, Alfred Molina, Kerry Shale, Joe Spano and JoBeth Williams.

The Prisoner of Second Avenue
Fast-moving dialog with nonstop Simon quips and jokes performed extremely well by two fine actors: who could ask for more? Performed by: Annie Abbott, Lorin Dreyfuss, Richard Dreyfuss, Betty Garrett, Sharon Madden and Marsha Mason.

California Suite
A four part comedy confection as only Neil Simon can write it! Four couples separately inhabit the same Beverly Hills hotel suite, bringing along their problems, anxieties, and comical marital dilemmas. Performed by: Dennis Boutsikaris, Bruce Davison, Marsha Mason and Amy Pietz.

Chapter Two
Comedy and pathos mingle brilliantly in Neil Simon’s portrait of a widowed novelist who fears he’ll never love again. Performed by: David Dukes, Sharon Gless, Gates McFadden and Grant Shaud.

Brighton Beach Memoirs
In Neil Simon’s first installment of his darkly funny semiautobiographical Eugene Trilogy, we meet his family in 1930’s Brooklyn. Performed by: Max Casella, Peter Michael Goetz, Valerie Harper, Alexana Lambros, Anna Sophie Loewenberg, Jonathan Silverman and Joyce Van Patten.

Biloxi Blues
The second hilarious installment of Neil Simon’s autobiographical trilogy follows a naïve Eugene Jerome through boot camp. Performed by: Justine Bateman, Rob Benedict, Joshua Biton, John Cabrera, Matthew Patrick Davis, Steve Rankin, Josh Radnor, Russell Soder and Darby Stanchfield.

Broadway Bound
In the final installment of Neil Simon’s trilogy, Eugene and his brother Stanley pair up to break into the world of comedy writing. Performed by: Caroline Aaron, Dan Castellaneta, Kyle Colerider-Krugh, James Gleason, Alan Mandell, Jonathan Silverman, JoBeth Williams and Scott Wolf.

Lost in Yonkers
Set in Yonkers, New York in 1942, two boys, aged 13 and 16, must spend one year with their austere and demanding grandmother. Performed by: Barbara Bain, Gia Carides, Dan Castellaneta, Ben Diskin, Arye Gross, Roxanne Hart and Kenneth Schmidt.

16 thoughts on “THE NEIL SIMON COLLECTION (20 CDs)

  1. Paul D Brazill

    I only know the ones that were made into films but great stuff.

    I like the bit in one where he tells his gran that he’s going to be writing for Sid Ceaser.

    She’s excited ‘You met Sid Cersr?!’

    ‘No, but I’m going to write for his show.’

    ‘Oh,’ she says,clearly disappointed and unimpressed.

  2. Patti Abbott

    I’ve seen all the movies and some as plays but I would love this one. Have to see if my library has it. I am listening to the audio of THE LOCK ARTIST by Steve Hamilton now and it is great.
    That’s a great line, Paul.

  3. Deb

    My favorite line is from “Brighton Beach” or possibly “Biloxi Blues”:

    “Do you know what my mother’s idea of spaghetti sauce is? Ketchup!”

    I guffawed when I read that because spaghetti with an entire bottle of ketchup and mounds of grated cheddar cheese was considered a gourmet meal in my childhood.

    1. george Post author

      I’m pretty sure that Ketchup line came from BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, Deb. I found BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS funnier than BILOXI BLUES and BROADWAY BOUND.

  4. Jeff Meyerson

    “Now it’s gahbage!”

    You can’t go wrong with much of Simon. Over the years we’ve seen a lot of them on Broadway, dating back to the (soso) Star-Spangled Girl in 1967 (with Richard Benjamin and Tony Perkins). Others: Plaza Suite (E. G. Marshall, Maureen Stapleton), Promises Promises (Tony Roberts), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (Hector Elizondo, Phyllis Newman), The God Doctor (Christopher Plummer, Barnard Hughes), God’s Favorite (Vincent Gardenia, Charles Nelson Reilly), Chapter Two (Judd Hirsch, ANita Gillette), They’re Playing Our Song (Robert Klein, Lucie Arnaz), I Ought To Be in Pictures (Ron Leibman, Dinah Manoff), Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues (both with Matthew Broderick), Broadway Bound (Linda Lavin, Jonathan Silverman), Lost in Yonkers (Mercedes Ruehl, Irene Worth).

    1. george Post author

      The only play I didn’t like was CHAPTER TWO, Jeff. The male character, named George, turns into a jerk in the second half.

  5. Richard R.

    I’ve read several of the plays, but have seen only a couple of the films and have seen none of Simon on the stage. Never having been a big fan of comedy, I enjoyed the few I read, but that was about it. Was George Peppard in the film of Barefoot in the Park, or am I thinking of another film?

    1. george Post author

      No, Rick, it was Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Listening to these plays was a delightful way to pass the downtime in REHAB.

  6. Jeff Meyerson

    It was Redford. I saw the original production of Barefoot in the Park too, before I met Jackie. Can’t remember for sure but it may have been Joan Van Ark starring by the time I saw it. Definitely did not see Redford or Elizabeth Ashley.

    1. george Post author

      A contemporary production of BAREFOOT IN THE PARK would need some extensive up-dating, Jeff. Simon throws in many cultural references that are now dated.

  7. Sergio (Tipping My Fedora)

    Love Neil Simon – very lucky in that I got to see LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR in London starring Gene Wilder, which always be a truly cherished memory. The huge number of Broadway hits he accumulated just makes your head spin actually when you look at that long list of titles …

    1. george Post author

      This 20 CD set is perfect for enjoying some of Neil Simon’s best work, Sergio. I borrowed it from my local public library. I would have loved to see Gene Wilder in a Neil Simon play!


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