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Old Globe’s Barry Edelstein Pays Tribute To Neil Simon

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright died on Sunday

American playwright Neil Simon answers questions during an interview in Seatt...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: American playwright Neil Simon answers questions during an interview in Seattle, Wa., September 22, 1994.

GUESTS:

Barry Edelstein, Old Globe Artistic Director

Beth Accomando, KPBS arts reporter

Transcript

Neil Simon Suggested Films

"Come Blow Your Horn" (1963)

"Barefoot in the Park" (1967)

"The Odd Couple" (1968)

"Sweet Charity" (1969)

"The Heartbreak Kid" (1972)

"Last of the Red Hot Lovers" (1972)

"The Sunshine Boys" (1975)

"The Goodbye Girl" (1977)

"Brighton Beach Memoirs" (1986)

"Biloxi Blues" (1988)

"Lost in Yonkers" (1993)

Playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon died on Sunday at the age of 91. The Old Globe Theatre is currently running a production of his 1963 play “Barefoot in the Park.”

Neil Simon won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his 1991 play “Lost in Yonkers;” multiple Tony Awards (for such works as “The Odd Couple” and “Biloxi Blues”); and was nominated for a quartet of Academy Awards (for “The Goodbye Girl” and for adapting his plays to the screen). Time magazine anointed him the “Patron Saint of Laughter.”

Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein selected Simon's early play "Barefoot in the Park" as one of the plays for the current season.

"I've always loved that play," Edelstein said. "It's so funny and so masterfully put together. We were looking for a summer confection, just a fun, wonderful, romantic piece for the summer season at the Globe and we landed on that one."

Photo caption: Kerry Bishé as Corie Bratter and Chris Lowell as Paul Bratter in "Barefoot in...

Photo credit: Jim Cox

Kerry Bishé as Corie Bratter and Chris Lowell as Paul Bratter in "Barefoot in the Park," by Neil Simon, directed by Jessica Stone, running July 28 through Sept. 16 at The Old Globe.

Edelstein has high praise for Simon's comic craftsmanship: "You watch how he sets up a joke. How he will drop one little piece of information at the beginning of the play; bring it back a second time in the middle of the play; and then pay it off a third time at the end of the play and it's like an earthquake goes off in the theater because the laughter is so powerful. It's remarkable to watch a guy craft something that carefully. But the big discovery for us about the show is how much love is in it."

The Globe has extended the run of "Barefoot in the Park" to Sept. 16.

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