• March 9, 2014 · 3:00 PM
  • Susan and Jeff's House

Inspired by Simon's early career experience as a junior writer (along with his brother Danny) for Your Show of Shows, the play focuses on Sid Caesar-like Max Prince, the star of a weekly comedy-variety show circa 1953, 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. Max has an ongoing battle with NBC executives, who fear his humor is too sophisticated for Middle America.
The work is a roman à clef, with the characters in the play based on Neil Simon's co-writers on Your Show Of Shows. Lloyd Rose, in her Washington Post review, noted several of the real-life inspirations: the "Sid Caesar-inspired Max Prince", "hypochondriac Ira (played by Ron Orbach, inspired by Mel Brooks)", "dryly witty, sane Kenny (John Slattery, inspired by Larry Gelbart and Carl Reiner)", and "fussy Russian emigre Val (Mark Linn-Baker, inspired by Mel Tolkin)....There is no character based on Woody Allen."[1] Woody Allen is often misattributed to the Ira Stone character, as the character in the play is a hypochondriac and Allen went on to use that affectation to great effect in his own comedy career. However, in actuality Simon was poking fun at Mel Brooks.[2] The real-life counterparts for each character are:

Lucas Brickman  --  Neil Simon
Max Prince  --  Sid Caesar
Kenny Franks  --  Larry Gelbart
Val Slotsky  --  Mel Tolkin
Brian Doyle  --  Tony Webster
Milt Fields  --  Sheldon Keller
Carol Wyman  --  Lucille Kallen
Ira Stone  --  Mel Brooks
Harry Prince  --  Dave Caesar (Sid's brother)

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  • Debbie

    Hi, I met Susan in a Stagebridge acting class. I'd love to attend the next play-readers group. Looking forward to it!

    March 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Jeff,

    I've been trying for about half an hour, and the message says Failed- no file. Help :-)!

    March 8, 2014

  • Jeff D.

    A. You have to be logged on.
    B. Don't print from the web. Instead, right click, then save the file to your desktop. Open it from there and print in the Acrobat/Acrobat Reader ap.

    1 · March 8, 2014

    • Riki J.

      Ok. I'll try that tomorrow morning.

      March 8, 2014

  • Riki J.

    I clicked on the file for printing the script, but the page is empty.

    March 8, 2014

    • Riki J.

      It seems ,the meetup web site is having some issues.

      March 8, 2014

  • Frances

    I'm looking forward to this after reading Sid Caesar's obit!

    February 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Myname is Joan Schwartz. I would like to be cast in a play reading. I think it would be a lot of fun!

    December 29, 2013

    • Susan D.

      Joan, please RSVP for the playreadings you want. That is the way I can cast you. Cheers, susan

      December 30, 2013

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