IT’S NICE to hear laughter in the theater.
As Broadway continues its reopening season after more than a year-long shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is in fact comforting, heartwarming and almost nostalgic to hear the packed house of hysterical audience members taking in Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick’s return to the stage in the first New York revival of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite.
Simon’s 1968 comedy explores the ups and downs of marriage through three one-act plays set in Suite 719 in New York City’s iconic Plaza Hotel.
Opening the show is “Visitor from Mamaroneck,” which sees Parker and Broderick as Karen and Sam Nash trying to rekindle what’s left of their marriage and celebrate their 23rd, or 24th, anniversary in their honeymoon suite at the Plaza.
In “Visitor from Hollywood” Parker plays Tenefly stay-at-home mom to three, Muriel Tate, paying a visit to her high school boyfriend turned Hollywood Producer, Jesse Kiplinger, (Broderick), who is in town on business and staying at the hotel.
In the final one-act, “ Visitor from Forest Hills,” Parker and Broderick are Norma and Roy Hubley, whose daughter, Mimsey, has gotten cold feet on her wedding day and locked herself in the bathroom.
Broderick and Parker are unsurprisingly completely at ease starring on Broadway for the first time together, both as spouses and former high school sweethearts.
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“Visitor from Hollywood” is perhaps the lightest of the one-acts. The husband and wife actors are so silly and cute as Murial and Jesse, they practically bounce around the stage.
The pair more than hold their own, with Parker maybe even carrying a little bit more of the load, through the more than two-hour very physical romp.
Ha sido 25 years since Parker was last on the boards in the musical revival of Once Upon A Mattress. Broderick’s last Broadway foray was more recent with the 2015 revival of A.R Gurney’s Slyvia.
They originally planned to return with the show back in March of 2020, just ahead of the outbreak of the coronavirus. Dos años más tarde, what may have been seen as just a nice show harkening back to another time pre-pandemic, is now more relevant than ever.
These days it can feel scarier to think about what’s coming and more of a relief to instead look back on what seems like a simpler time.
Reminding us of when we weren’t embroiled in a seemingly unending pandemic gives us hope for a time when one day we won’t be in the midst of one.
The couple’s close friend John Benjamin Hickey is making his Broadway directorial debut with Plaza Suite.
Parker and Broderick are also surrounded by stellar, supporting castmates Danny Bolero, Molly Ranson and Eric Wiegand. Plaza Suite is playing now at the Hudson Theatre.