NEW PALTZ -- "The way I see things, life is both sad and funny. I can't imagine a comical situation that isn't at the same time also painful. I used to ask myself: What is a humorous situation? Now I ask: What is a sad situation and how can I tell it humorously?"
Thursday, July 5th is opening night of Neil Simon's autobiographical play Broadway Bound at New Paltz Summer Repertory Theatre. Proclaimed by Time magazine as "the best American play of the '80s" and "the work of a master craftsman," Broadway Bound is "at once literary and heartfelt, shaped with becoming modesty." The two-week run is performed in air-conditioned Parker Theatre at SUNY New Paltz.
The year is 1949: Eugene and Stanley have begun writing comedy sketches for the Catskills resorts, hoping that this activity will be the first step on the road to fame and fortune in a new entertainment industry called television. As they seek out funny material, the boys' home life is rapidly disintegrating. The crises at hand include their parents' constant quarrelling (brought about by their father's philandering) and a seemingly insurmountable dilemma involving their aged uncle.
"[Neil] Simon's gift is in giving each character and each viewpoint its due," reports Beverly Creasey of The Theatre Mirror. "He weaves a social consciousness so subtly through the play you hardly notice that he includes some astute observations on post-war America. And he cagily places the voice of conscience into the mouth of the ostensibly doddering grandfather, so that he gets laughs while he scores political points."
Broadway Bound is the second mainstage production by New Paltz Summer Repertory Theatre this summer. A musical adaptation of Moliere's French farce Scapin, performed outdoors under the stars, will open July 19. Additionally, children's theatre and puppet shows are presented on Saturday mornings throughout July.
Broadway Bound is performed July 5-8 and 10-15 at 8:00 p.m. Reserved seats are $12 adults and $10 senior citizens. Tickets are available in advance through the New Paltz Summer Repertory Theatre Box Office, 845-257-3880. Tickets may by purchased by phone with a MasterCard or VISA, or in person with check, cash or credit card. The box office is open 12 - 9 PM, Tuesday to Sunday.
Detailed information on upcoming arts events at SUNY New Paltz is available on the Web at http://hawk.newpaltz.edu/artsnews. For complete information on it's summer offerings, visit the New Paltz Summer Repertory Theatre Web site, www.newpaltz.edu/summerrep.
An image from Broadway Bound can be found online at http://hawk.newpaltz.edu/news/images/bbound.html. Copies of the image at higher resolutions or different sizes are available: call 845-257-3872.