Neil Simon Biography

Neil Simon
Neil Simon

(playwright; born July 4, 1927, the Bronx, New York)

 "If Broadway ever erects a monument to the patron saint of laughter, 
 Neil Simon would have to be it," wrote Time magazine. The movies and 
 television might consider America's most prolific and popular 
 playwright a patron saint as well. He has written 28 plays and holds 
 the record for the greatest number of hits in the American theater. He 
 has had more plays adapted to film than any other playwright, and 
 additionally has written nearly a dozen original film comedies. He 
 helped define television comedy during the medium's legendary early 
 days. In the theater, at the movies, and at home he has kept America 
 laughing for more than 40 years and has been rewarded with four Tony 
 Awards, two Emmys, a Screen Writers Guild Award, and a Pulitzer Prize. 
 What's his secret? The Concise Oxford Companion to American Theatre 
 explains: "He is a shrewd observer of human foibles and a master of 
 the one-line gag." Emanuel Azenberg, his long-time producer, simply 
 suggests, "He genuinely loves the act of writing."  <P>

 Marvin Neil Simon grew up in Washington Heights, a product of a 
 marriage that saw its share of turbulence. After graduating from 
 public school, he enlisted in the Army and began his career writing 
 for an Army camp newspaper. A week later, armistice was declared. 
 After discharge, he returned to New York and became a mailroom clerk 
 for Warner Brothers' East Coast office. Soon he was writing comedy 
 revues with his brother Danny in the Poconos, then for radio, 
 providing material for the likes of Tallulah Bankhead, and finally, 
 for television, where he helped make Phil Silvers, Jackie Gleason, Red 
 Buttons, Garry Moore, Sid Caesar, and Imogene Coca funny. <P>

 Caesar and Coca, of course, were the stars of "Your Show of Shows," 
 the nation's weekly variety show addiction from 1950-54, where Simon 
 and his brother toiled alongside fellow budding talents Woody Allen, 
 Mel Brooks, and Larry Gelbart. But the theater was his destiny and it 
 was there that he and his brother continued their partnership, 
 contributing sketches to a couple of Broadway musicals in the 
 mid-fifties. Eventually he broke out on his own and, after countless 
 drafts, completed a comedy about two brothers who don't want to take 
 over their father's fruit business. Come Blow Your Horn (1961) racked 
 up 677 performances on Broadway and hinted at a promising career. Two 
 years later, Barefoot in the Park fulfilled the promise and launched a 
 legend. <P>

 Throughout the '60s and '70s, Simon would turn out hit after hit for 
 the stage and screen, most of them depicting life in and about New 
 York City -- Manhattan, Brighton Beach, Yonkers, Riverside Drive, 
 Second Avenue, Central Park West. Think of the Simon canon -- The Odd 
 Couple (1965), Sweet Charity (1966), Plaza Suite (1968), The Out of 
 Towners (1970), Promises, Promises (1968), The Prisoner of Second 
 Avenue (1971), The Goodbye Girl (1993), Chapter Two (1977) -- and you 
 get a clear, sharp, and very funny picture of the people crazy and 
 lucky enough to call New York home. <P>

 In the '80s Simon produced his landmark autobiographical trilogy -- 
 Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983), Biloxi Blues (1985), and Broadway Bound 
 (1986), which chronicled his stormy childhood, Army days, and entry 
 into show business. Now Simon was not only getting the laughs, he was 
 also getting the awards. He crowned this streak with Lost in Yonkers, 
 which won the Pulitzer Price in 1991. Perhaps the secret to Simon's 
 success is his ability, brilliantly displayed in those four plays but 
 evident from the very beginning, to show us -- between, in, and around 
 the funny lines -- the pain, aspiration, and sheer panic behind all 
 those unforgettable characters. <P>

 Currently his newest play, London Suite, is a hit -- naturally -- in 
 New York. And the city which has figured so prominently in his life 
 and work has honored him by making him the only living playwright for 
 whom a Broadway theater is named.
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Recent Performances of works by Neil Simon
Production/Credit WhereOpening Night
Rumours Bergen County Players 5/4/2019
The Gingerbread Lady Nutley Little Theatre 9/7/2018
The Odd Couple (Female version) Cherry Blossom Players 5/4/2017
California Suite Readington Community Theatre 11/12/2015
Lost in Yonkers Nutley Little Theatre 9/5/2014
Brighton Beach Memoirs Monmouth Players 10/12/2013
Rumours Studio Players 1/11/2013
Sweet Charity ...... (Book) MOC Musical Theatre 4/20/2012
Plaza Suite Edison Valley Playhouse 2/24/2012
Last of the Red Hot Lovers Bergen County Players 2/18/2012
Barefoot in the Park Center Players (Freehold) 2/11/2011
Barefoot in the Park Brundage Park Playhouse 10/8/2010
London Suite Nutley Little Theatre 4/9/2010
Lost in Yonkers Paper Mill Playhouse 2/17/2010
Come Blow Your Horn Attic Ensemble 9/18/2009
The Odd Couple (Female version) East Brunswick Community Players 9/11/2009
The Odd Couple Brundage Park Playhouse 4/24/2009
Fools Westfield Community Players 3/7/2009
Last of the Red Hot Lovers Alliance Repertory 2/27/2009
I Ought To Be In Pictures First Avenue Playhouse 12/31/2008
Brighton Beach Memoirs Maurer Productions OnStage 10/3/2008
Lost in Yonkers Circle Players 6/13/2008
Chapter Two The Company 5/29/2008
The Prisoner of Second Avenue Bergen County Players 5/3/2008
They're Playing Our Song ...... (Book) Sketch Club Players 11/9/2007
The Sunshine Boys George Street Playhouse 10/16/2007
The Sunshine Boys Nutley Little Theatre 9/7/2007
Lost in Yonkers Main Street Theatre Company 6/8/2007
Rumours Westfield Community Players 5/5/2007
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Bergen County Players 5/5/2007
Brighton Beach Memoirs Marlboro Players 5/4/2007
Brighton Beach Memoirs Brundage Park Playhouse 4/27/2007
Plaza Suite Main Street Theatre Company 2/2/2007
Lost in Yonkers Monmouth Regional High School Drama Club 12/7/2006
The Dinner Party Over The Rainbow Productions 9/8/2006
Lost in Yonkers Center Players (Freehold) 7/28/2006
Rumours Strand Theater Project 7/14/2006
Fools Studio Players 6/9/2006
California Suite First Avenue Playhouse 2/16/2006
The Gingerbread Lady Over The Rainbow Productions 2/10/2006
The Odd Couple Bergen County Players 1/14/2006
Brighton Beach Memoirs Monmouth Regional High School Drama Club 12/8/2005
The Dinner Party Main Street Theatre Company 11/11/2005
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Rhino Theatre Company 11/4/2005
Last of the Red Hot Lovers Westfield Community Players 10/8/2005
Brighton Beach Memoirs Chatham Players 10/6/2005
Rumours Haddonfield Plays and Players 9/15/2005
Fools First Avenue Playhouse 7/1/2005
Barefoot in the Park Country Gate Players 5/14/2005
Brighton Beach Memoirs Triple Threat Foundation for the Arts 5/6/2005
Barefoot in the Park Iron Mountain Stage Company 4/15/2005
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Monmouth Players 4/15/2005
Barefoot in the Park Cabaret Theatre 3/30/2005
Promises, Promises ...... (Book) Under The Rainbow Productions 12/11/2004
Promises, Promises ...... (Book) Over The Rainbow Productions 12/10/2004
Brighton Beach Memoirs The Conservatory Players 11/5/2004
London Suite Stony Hill Players 10/22/2004
Star-Spangled Girl First Avenue Playhouse 9/3/2004
Barefoot in the Park Center Players (Freehold) 7/9/2004
The Good Doctor Over The Rainbow Productions 7/9/2004
Lost in Yonkers Alliance Repertory 4/16/2004
The Odd Couple Monmouth Players 4/16/2004
Barefoot in the Park Somerset Valley Players 3/19/2004
The Odd Couple (Female version) Westfield Community Players 3/6/2004
The Sunshine Boys Villagers Theatre 3/5/2004
Brighton Beach Memoirs Margate Players 1/16/2004
They're Playing Our Song ...... (Book) Villagers Theatre 1/9/2004
Lost in Yonkers Mystic Vision Players 10/31/2003
Brighton Beach Memoirs Surflight Theatre 9/24/2003
Promises, Promises ...... (Book) East Brunswick Community Players 9/6/2003
Brighton Beach Memoirs Once Upon A Production 7/11/2003
The Odd Couple First Avenue Playhouse 6/6/2003
Promises, Promises ...... (Book) Ocean County College 5/31/2003
The Odd Couple (Female version) Hexagon Players 5/16/2003
The Gingerbread Lady Bergen County Players 3/22/2003
The Odd Couple Allegro Productions 3/7/2003
Rumours Chatham Players 2/28/2003
Lost in Yonkers Haddonfield Plays and Players 2/23/2003
Jake's Women The University Performing Arts Theatre Series 2/21/2003
The Dinner Party Cranford Drama Club 2/7/2003
The Odd Couple (Female version) Stage East Ensemble 2/7/2003
I Ought To Be In Pictures Bickford Theater 12/12/2002
Rumours Pierrot Productions 11/15/2002
Sweet Charity ...... (Book) Villagers Theatre 11/1/2002
Brighton Beach Memoirs Over The Rainbow Productions 10/11/2002
Plaza Suite Brundage Park Playhouse 9/13/2002
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Allegro Productions 8/23/2002
Biloxi Blues Stagecrafters Inc. 7/18/2002
Jake's Women Circle Players 6/7/2002
Brighton Beach Memoirs Rhino Theatre Company 5/10/2002
California Suite Somerset Valley Players 5/10/2002
Lost in Yonkers Strollers 5/3/2002
Barefoot in the Park Monmouth Players 4/12/2002
Brighton Beach Memoirs Studio Players 4/12/2002
The Odd Couple Somerset Valley Players 2/15/2002
The Good Doctor The Conservatory Players 2/15/2002
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Cabaret Theatre 2/6/2002
Sweet Charity ...... (Book) Allegro Productions 2/1/2002
The Dinner Party Paper Mill Playhouse 1/9/2002
The Odd Couple (Female version) Mystic Vision Players 11/2/2001
Last of the Red Hot Lovers Sketch Club Players 10/26/2001
Promises, Promises ...... (Book) Livingston Theatre Company 10/25/2001
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Center Players (Freehold) 9/15/2001
Barefoot in the Park Nutley Little Theatre 9/14/2001
The Odd Couple (Female version) Shadow Lawn Summer Stage 7/6/2001
The Sunshine Boys South Street Players 5/4/2001
Plaza Suite Theatre Five 4/20/2001
The Prisoner of Second Avenue Somerset Valley Players 3/30/2001
Plaza Suite GB Productions 3/10/2001
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Dover Little Theater 3/2/2001
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Battery Factory Theater 2/9/2001
Barefoot in the Park Cranford Drama Club 2/9/2001
Barefoot in the Park Brundage Park Playhouse 2/2/2001
Brighton Beach Memoirs Allegro Productions 1/5/2001
Lost in Yonkers Sketch Club Players 11/10/2000
The Good Doctor Pine Tree Players 11/3/2000
Fools Voorhees High School Theatre 11/2/2000
The Odd Couple Bickford Theater 6/15/2000
Rumours The Conservatory Players 5/19/2000
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Hudson Shakespeare Company 5/5/2000
The Good Doctor Sketch Club Players 3/31/2000
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Players Guild of Leonia 2/25/2000
Biloxi Blues Villagers Theatre 2/25/2000
Brighton Beach Memoirs Summit Playhouse Association 2/18/2000
Rumours Stevens Dramatic Society 11/11/1999
The Odd Couple Battery Factory Theater 10/29/1999
The Odd Couple Off-Broadstreet Theatre 9/10/1999
Sweet Charity ...... (Book) Premier Theater Company 7/9/1999
The Sunshine Boys Cape May Stage 6/17/1999
The Odd Couple Marlboro Players 5/14/1999
Fools Shrewsbury Players 5/14/1999
The Odd Couple (Female version) Players Theater Company 5/11/1999
Come Blow Your Horn Pine Tree Players 5/7/1999
Proposals Bergen County Players 5/7/1999
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Villagers Theatre 1/8/1999
Proposals SummerFun 7/21/1998
Sweet Charity ...... (Book) Theater Guild of Old Bridge 5/25/1998
Plaza Suite Players Theater Company 5/11/1998
California Suite Westfield Community Players 10/18/1997
Rumours Center Players (Freehold) 3/1/1997
The Sunshine Boys Center Players (Freehold) 11/1/1996
Plaza Suite St. Paul's Players Community Theater Group 9/1/1996
Rumours East Brunswick Community Players 9/25/1995
The Odd Couple Main Street Theatre Company 7/21/1994
Rumours Players Theater Company 10/11/1992
They're Playing Our Song ...... (Book) East Brunswick Community Players 11/8/1991
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