The Neil Simon tragedy.
Now there’s a word rarely uttered when speaking of one of the greatest comic minds of the century.
Unfortunately, Broadway hasn’t been kind to Mr. Simon lately.
Prior to Brighton Beach, post-9/11 Broadway had seen productions of a the original 45 Seconds From Broadway as well as revivals of Barefoot in the Park, Sweet Charity and The Odd Couple.
The Odd Couple, with Broderick and Lane, is the only one of those that recouped, but it wasn’t the smash that everyone had expected it to be.
Sweet Charity sneaked out a seven month run, but Barefoot, and now Brighton and Broadway, were unfortunate disappointments.
Well, Mr. Simon, to use hackneyed break-up phraseology, it’s not you. It’s us.
Our tastes have changed. In fact, perhaps it was 9/11, or perhaps it was Jon and Kate plus Stupid, or perhaps it’s the economic crisis, that turned our taste buds a little more acidic.
Neil Simon’s plays are classics, but no matter how great the productions may be (and I heard Brighton was fantastic, especially under the gentle hand of David Cromer), today’s audiences just don’t take to them the way they used to.
Our taste in television comedies has changed over the last twenty-five years, so as much as I was pulling for this double-feature, it’s no surprise to me that our taste in theatrical comedies has changed as well.
In my opinion . . . Yasmina Reza is the modern day Neil Simon. Belly laugh funny with a bite.
Now let’s see if Promises, Promises can break this streak. I know I’m pulling for it. I mean, come on, it’s got a song called, “She Likes Basketball!”