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THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are the first Broadway revivals of two of Neil Simon’s beloved Eugene Morris Jerome plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, directed by David Cromer.   Brighton Beach Memoirs is currently in previews and opens this Sunday, October 25 at the Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street).  Broadway Bound joins Brighton Beach Memoirs in repertory on November 18, with opening night on Thursday, December 10.  THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS have been making headlines lately:  



‘Brighton’ Ready

By Barbara Hoffman

October 23, 2009


Before Matthew Broderick was Matthew Broderick — before he was even Ferris Bueller! — he was Neil Simon’s alter ego, Eugene.


If stardom’s in the Genes, can Noah Robbins and Josh Grisetti be far behind? The leads of Broadway’s Simon revivals are about to have their Moment.


At the Nederlander Theatre — where Robbins’ “Brighton Beach Memoirs” opens Sunday, soon to alternate with Grisetti’s “Broadway Bound” — they looked like two halves of one wild-haired whole: 19-year-old Noah, one of the great high-school Max Bialystocks of his day; and Josh, the 27-year-old lead of last season’s “Enter Laughing,” where he seemed a younger, more verbal version of Harpo Marx.


Busting each other’s chops, finishing each other’s sentences . . . you’d think they were brothers. Actually, they met this summer.


“It was like looking into a mirror,” Robbins marvels.


Grisetti laughs. “Ten years from now, you’ll look just like me, kid!”


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Broadway Turns Up the Volume

By Ellen Gamerman

October 23, 2009


On stage at the Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” are seven actors—and 23 hidden microphones.  Manny Azenberg, 75 years old, whose first Broadway show as a producer was “The Lion in Winter” in 1966, agreed to allow hidden mics on stage in “Brighton Beach” but refused to put body mics on actors. “You lose quality, you lose intimacy, you lose the reality of the theater,” he says.


The microphones embedded in the stage at “Brighton Beach Memoirs” represented a compromise. Many people in the 1,223-seat Nederlander Theatre—likely to include elderly audiences—wouldn’t be able to hear the play without amplification, so Fitz Patton, one of the sound designers, concealed nearly two dozen microphones around the set.


Now, when Jack Jerome, the family patriarch, turns to adjust the radio dial, he speaks his lines into a microphone embedded in the radio. Audiences in the rear balcony can hear a heart-to-heart talk between brothers Stanley and Eugene on the stoop at stage right, thanks in part to a mic concealed in a chain-link fence.


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Interactive Graphic:

On the set of Broadway’s ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs,’ nearly two dozen microphones are concealed in spots like a park bench and fence, and mounted on ceilings, walls and the stage floor.


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WSJ.com Video:

Sound Design That’s Straight Outta Brooklyn

Profile of ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ sound designer Fitz Patton


Click on the following link





Brief Encounter with Laurie Metcalf

By Robert Simonson

October 21, 2009


Actress Laurie Metcalf has had the opportunity to do many things during her long tenure as an ensemble member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Two things she hasn’t gotten the chance do are: play a Neil Simon character and act in rep. Metcalf will do both for the first time this fall on Broadway, playing the matriarch in Simon’s autobiographical comedies Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound. The landmark enterprise at the Nederlander Theatre is being directed by a fellow Chicagoan David Cromer. Metcalf talked to Playbill.com about Simon, Broadway, Steppenwolf and what her middle name isn’t.


Playbill.com: How did this project come your way?
Laurie Melcalf: I got a call to read the plays together, and I heard they were doing them in rep, which was really intriguing to me.


Playbill.com: Have you ever done anything like that before?
LM: I’ve never done rep, no. I don’t think it’s done too much anymore. It’s unusual. It’s also probably weirdly expensive. So I read them back to back. I didn’t know the plays, which was inexcusable.


Playbill.com: You’d never seen them?
LM: I’d never seen them. I’d always heard about them my whole life.


Playbill.com: Have you had any experience doing Neil Simon?
LM: No, never.


Playbill.com: He’s not really the kind of playwright who’s done at Steppenwolf that often, is he?
LM: Well, we haven’t done him. But having worked on the shows now, they’re so deep and rich and a real joy to work on. It’s the kind of work I like to do because it bounces back from comedy to drama, sometimes within a line.


Playbill.com: Have you had to rehearse both at the same time?
LM: Oh, yes. We’re in previews for Brighton Beach right now and I’m just about to head off to rehearsal for Broadway Bound. So the rehearsal period has been intense. It’s much more difficult that I anticipated.


To read more, click on the following link:





Noah Robbins Channels Neil Simon in Brighton Beach Memoirs

By Kathy Henderson

October 22, 2009


Age: 19

Hometown: Potomac, Maryland

Currently: Making his Broadway debut as Eugene Morris Jerome, the precocious teen narrator (and alter ego of playwright Neil Simon) in the revival of Brighton Beach Memoirs.

Comedy Tonight: The youngest son of a lawyer and a film documentarian, Robbins debuted professionally in children’s shows at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Debbie Allen, who continued to cast him through high school. Oldest brother Jeremy is in film school at Columbia, and middle brother Ethan is a musician in Boston. How did all three boys end up in the arts? “We’re all Jewish?” Noah quips, putting a Simon-esque spin on the line. “No, I have no idea. My dad is a musician as well as a lawyer, and my mom is a writer and painter. We were all bitten by the arts bug.”

Memory Lane: Before landing the role of Eugene, created on Broadway by Tony winner Matthew Broderick, Robbins starred in a high school production of The Producers—but instead of Leo Bloom, he played Max Bialystock, made famous by Nathan Lane. “I like to do over-the-top, vaudevillian kinds of things,” he says, noting that he’d previously played another Lane role, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. “If you had seen me in high school, you would not have thought of me as Eugene.” During rehearsals, Robbins found himself on an elevator with Lane. “I didn’t have the courage to say anything to him,” he admits. “My heart was pounding.” Stage mom Laurie Metcalf provided a happy ending by introducing the young actor to his idol. “He came to see the show and I was in a photo with him—and it’s on Broadway.com!”


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THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are the first Broadway revivals of two of Neil Simon’s beloved Eugene Morris Jerome plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, directed by David Cromer.  


Brighton Beach Memoirs began previews on October 2 and opens Sunday, October 25.  Broadway Bound begins previews on Wednesday, November 18 and opens Thursday, December 10.    Starting on November 18, the two plays will be performed in repertory on a varied schedule at the Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street).   


Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound were two of the longest running Broadway plays of the 1980s.  The works ushered in a new era of appreciation for Neil Simon, with praise for the playwright’s hilarious and poignant account of his adolescence, early career and family life in New York in the 1930s and 1940s.


Brighton Beach Memoirs originally opened on March 27, 1983 at the Alvin Theatre and played for 1,299 performances.  (During the run of Brighton Beach Memoirs, the Alvin Theatre was renamed The Neil Simon Theatre).   Broadway Bound opened on December 4, 1986 at the Broadhurst Theatre, where it played for 756 performances.  


Brighton Beach Memoirs stars Laurie Metcalf (Kate Jerome) and Dennis Boutsikaris (Jack Jerome) with Santino Fontana (Stanley Jerome), Jessica Hecht (Blanche), Gracie Bea Lawrence (Laurie), Noah Robbins (Eugene Jerome) and Alexandra Socha (Nora).


Brighton Beach Memoirs centers on young Jewish teen Eugene Morris Jerome and his extended family living in a crowded home in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn in the late 1930s: his overworked father, Jack; overbearing mother, Kate; his older brother Stanley; Kate’s widowed sister Blanche and her daughters, Nora and Laurie.  As Eugene spends his time daydreaming about a baseball career, he must also cope with his family’s troubles, his awkward discovery of the opposite sex and his developing identity as a writer.   


Scenic design is by John Lee Beatty, costume design is by Jane Greenwood, lighting design is by Brian MacDevitt and sound design is by Josh Schmidt and Fitz Patton.   Hair and wig design is by Tom Watson. 


THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are produced by Ira Pittelman, Max Cooper, Jeffrey Sine, Scott Delman, Ruth Hendel, Roy Furman, Ben Sprecher/Wendy Federman, Scott Landis and Emanuel Azenberg


THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS will be performed in repertory on a varied schedule.  Tickets are available at http://www.TicketMaster.com or 212-307-4100.  


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