Neil Simon, The Most Successful Playwright In The History Of Theatre

"It can be argued that Neil Simon is not only America's most successful
playwright, but also the most successful playwright in the history of theatre."1
Despite being criticized for lack of substance, his hugely successful comedies
are consistently revived, whether on Broadway or in other community or dinner
theatres. Last week the University of Notre Dame's Mainstage season opened with
the departmental premiere of Barefoot in the Park. Though the play originally
opened more then thirty years ago, the themes of compatibility and compromise
that it presents are still relevant today. Simon masterfully manipulated the
plot of Barefoot in the Park to include all of the elements of a fine ...

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From the very first, the audience can see that these are two
very different characters that have very different values, and yet Paul and
Corie are very much in love. The plot progresses as other characters are
introduced. First to visit the newlyweds is Corie's mother, Mrs. Banks. The
relationship between Corie and her mother also involves a clash of very distinct
personalities. With the appearance of the Bratter's eccentric upstairs neighbor,
Victor Velasco, Corie sees the opportunity to play matchmaker and inject a
little romance into her staid mother's life. The first act concludes with
Corie's plan to bring the two together at an upcoming dinner party, much to the
chagrin of her husband Paul. This creates intrigue--"that quality of a play
which makes us curious (sometimes fervently so) to see 'what happens next'"2--
because the audience is left wondering whether Corie's plan will work. Thus the
first act provides exposition, creates a feeling of suspense, and begins ...

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mother-in-law. As the evening winds to a close, Velasco offers to
escort Mrs. Banks home to New Jersey, with presumably more licentious motives in
mind. Meanwhile Corie and Paul begin the first major argument of their wedded
life. Though Simon handles the fight with a light touch, the disagreement
nevertheless shows the way that some couples can become blinded by differences
and reluctant to compromise. Also, the events of the second act have led
naturally to this point, creating an element of credibility (also known as the
"internal consistency of a play"5. The second act closes with the rift between
the Paul and Corie at its widest; Corie wants a divorce and Paul is ...

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Neil Simon, The Most Successful Playwright In The History Of Theatre. (2004, September 28). Retrieved December 4, 2021, from
"Neil Simon, The Most Successful Playwright In The History Of Theatre.", 28 Sep. 2004. Web. 4 Dec. 2021. <>
"Neil Simon, The Most Successful Playwright In The History Of Theatre." September 28, 2004. Accessed December 4, 2021.
"Neil Simon, The Most Successful Playwright In The History Of Theatre." September 28, 2004. Accessed December 4, 2021.
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Added: 9/28/2004 06:00:06 PM
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1335
Pages: 5

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