Neil Simon passed away today at the age of 91. A legendary playwright, his contribution to the stage through such masterful comedies as Barefoot in the Park, The Sunshine Boys, The Star-Spangled Girl, and The Odd Couple, just to name a few, forever impacted comedy.
I feel a connection to Simon’s work that has impacted my life more than the average playwright.
One of the great pleasures that Jamie and I had in our early marriage was playing Paul and Corie in Barefoot in the Park. Simon’s dialogue truly brought you into the lives of this young couple, so in love and yet with so much to discover about each other. And the situations that Simon could envision to bring forth comedy were so relatable and yet so hysterical. Plus, I still owe Jamie for changing the stage Scotch out for real Scotch.
I’ve also talked about how one of the greatest theater experiences we have had was seeing Dick and Jerry Van Dyke in The Sunshine Boys at Casa Manana in Fort Worth. To see two masters of comedy work with such fine material was truly a blessing and something that will stick with me for a lifetime.
So in honor of the passing of a legend, we dim the footlights and celebrate his works.
Rest In Peace Neil Simon. Thank you for the years of entertainment.
Tomorrow, thoughts on another of today’s passings.