In LatinAmerican Post we remember the American playwright Neil Simon, who died on August 26
On August 26, American writer Neil Simon, winner of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, died and is considered by many to be the "king of comedy on Broadway." Simon was a famous dramatist with more than 30 plays adapted to film and television. According to The Rolling Stones, "he made his theatrical debut in 1961, with Come Blow Your Horn and concluded his extraordinary Broadway career with 45 Seconds From Broadway in 2001."
Leer en español: Neil Simon: El legado que dejó el rey de Broadway
He was born in New York, where he began his career in television. His older brother was the one who helped him get his first job writing jokes for comedian Sid Caesar, a television legend of the 50s. According to a mini documentary published by The New York Times. "Simon aspired to do more than joke, but he saw first-hand how even the most experienced writers of Ceasar found it difficult to break into the theater."
In an interview with The New York Times, Simon explained that because of this he decided that it was best to write about what he knew. According to the same medium, this "would lead him to create a new genre: the comedy of urban neurosis". Thus, Neil Simon gradually began to consolidate himslef as one of the best American dramatists who left a great legacy after his death, which is why we decided to compile some of his most famous plays which have been adapted to film or television .
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Barefoot in the park (1963)
In the documentary of The New York Times, it is explained that this is the work with which Neil Simon burst into the theater. Barefoot in the park is a romantic comedy that reflects on marriage, which "is based on Simon's life as a newlywed with his wife, Joan Baim." The work precisely tells the story of the extroverted Corie and the serious lawyer Paul, a couple that is adapting to married life.
According to Goodreads, "after a six-day honeymoon, they receive a surprise visit from Corie's mother and decide to play the matchmaker during a dinner with her neighbor in the Velasco penthouse, where everything can go wrong, Paul does not understand Corie, as she sees him, he is too serious, too boring and she just wants him to be a little more spontaneous, running "barefoot in the park" would be a start ".
The Odd Couple (1965)
This comedy, which is considered the most successful work of the dramatist, is also based on a true story and his brother is the protagonist. The play tells the story of two divorced men with different personalities, who try to share an apartment. On the one hand, there is the messy sports journalist, Oscar Madison. On the other hand, is Felix Ungar, neurotic and lover of order.
Precisely, "his brother Danny, who recently divorced his wife, moved with a friend named Roy Gerber to save money," explains the same media. According to Simon, "Roy Gerber started having big fights with Danny, and I just kept looking at him and looking at him, I said, 'You know, Danny, there's a play on this, these two guys having more trouble with each other than with their wives.'"
Lost in Yonkers (1990)
This is the work with which Neil Simon won a Pulitzer, one of the most important awards in journalism, literature and music, as well as four Tony awards. According to Goodreads, Lost in Yonkers is a "fun and heartbreaking work", which tells a "moving drama about the cruelties and painful memories that mark a family." Thus, this is a work that led Simon to position himself as a much more serious dramatist.
"The story is that of two children who are forced to live with their dominant grandmother and mentally disabled aunt, a situation similar to the one Simon faced during his childhood," says The New York Times. With this story, Simon wanted to show that he did not need to be funny all the time. "Filled with laughter, tears and insight, Lost in Yonkers is another comforting testament to Neil Simon's talent," says Goodreads.
What do you think? Would you dare to read them?
Rest in Peace Neil Simon. All theater lovers mourn his passing. My fave is still his 1970 movie The Out-of-Towers, which was originally going to be a part of the Broadway play Plaza Suite. Thanks for the laughs. #neilsimon #neilsimontheatre #urbanlife #sidcaesar #barefootinthepark #theoddcouple #thesunshineboys
LatinAmerican Post | Diana Rojas Leal
Translated from "Neil Simon: Este es el legado que dejó el dramaturgo estadounidense"