by Neil Simon
directed by Colleen Neary McClure
The late Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor will be The Adobe Theater’s first play of the 2019 Season.
New York City, 1953 – A small group of comedy writers and their leader conspire each week to lampoon current news, satirize historical events, and take on the world through the new and magical medium of television.
Inspired by the playwright’s youthful experience as a staff writer on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, Simon’s 1993 comedy focuses on Sid Caesar-like Max Prince, the star of a weekly comedy-variety show and his staff, including Simon’s alter-ego Lucas Brickman, who maintains a running commentary on the writing, fighting, and wacky antics which take place in the writers’ room.
Mr. Simon said of the play: “… it has a lot of things to say about the McCarthy era and working in that era, of what it’s like not just to write comedy but to be a family, a group of people who spend more time together than they do with their wives and their children, and the pressure of what it’s like to get it out week after week.”
Laughter on the 23rd Floor opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on November 22, 1993 and closed on August 27, 1994 after 320 performances and 24 previews. Included in the many subsequent productions, the play was a made-for-TV movie in 2001 with Nathan Lane and was nominated to win an Emmy for Outstanding Made for Television Movie.
Director Colleen Neary McClure says of the play: “Neil Simon was part of my growing up in England. As a young girl, he gave me tremendous insight into comedy and humanity. Sometimes the best way to get through challenging times is by looking at life through the lens of humor. Laughter on the 23rdFloor is nothing if not hilarious, even in those darker moments of the play. I usually go home after rehearsals with an aching stomach from laughing so much! It helps of course to have such a talented cast!”
Riotously funny and deeply poignant, Laughter on the 23rdFloor features: Matt Heath (Max Prince), Henry Sebastian Bender (Lucas), Ron Bronitsky (Milt), Dan Ware (Val), Parker Owen (Brian), Lars Panaro (Kenny), Joe Feldman (Ira), Abriana LaValley (Carol), Rhonda Sigler-Ware (Helen).
Laughter on the 23rd Floor opens January 25th and runs through February 24th at The Adobe Theater, 9813 4th Street NW. Friday and Saturday evenings performances start at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:00pm. General Admission $20, Discount $17 (Seniors, Students, ATG/PBS Members, Military, First Responders). Opening Weekend Special: All Tickets $15!