Sunday, December 2, 2018

Jesse Green on Neil Simon

The latest episode of the NYCPlaywrights Podcast includes a clip of a Neil Simon interview (thanks to Susan Haskins-Doloff at Theater Talk Productions) talking about THE ODD COUPLE and his work habits.

Here is an interesting article from the NYTimes about Simon's career, written by Jesse Green.

From the article:
But I like those early works — “The Odd Couple” and also “Plaza Suite” and “The Sunshine Boys,” among others — because even though they are comedies, they are coherent as drama. The trick was structure: Mr. Simon’s sense of the situations he devised was so clear he could write boffo gags that did not seem to come from him, but rather from the character and conflict. 
Sometimes, in the way that can happen when writers momentarily grab the tail of the zeitgeist, the laughs were even prescient. This was especially true in plays that addressed, inadvertently or not, the shifting gender roles and politics of the Ms. Generation of feminists, as experienced by slobs who didn’t know what hit them. When Roy complains about Oscar Madison’s refrigerator he is talking about more than cleanliness. He is talking about the inadequacy of men.

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