Richard and I saw *Plaza Suite* on Broadway on March 26, 2022. It's a play by Neil Simon from 1968. This was the first time it had been revived on Broadway. It's a three-act play, but I see it as three one-act plays. Each play is about a couple in suite 719 in the Plaza Hotel on Central Park South. The couples are played by the same two actors in each play. They were played by George C. Scott and Maureen Stapleton in the original and are played by Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker in the current revival.
The first play was by far the strongest. I expect to see comedy in a Neil Simon play, but this play was more like a drama with a few funny lines. Parker had a classic star entrance - - she came through the door with her back to the audience and her face turned away and then did a Reveal of her face, which of course led the audience to applaud. Broderick's entrance a few minutes later was more direct, he just walked through the door. Maybe he could be less coy about it because Parker had come in first? They did their best acting in this play, probably because they had the best material.
The second play was very good and rather surprising. It was funnier than the first play but also awkward and unsettling. Actually, maybe Broderick and Parker did their best work in THIS play because the material was, in a way, more complex and demanding.
The final play was a disappointment, it was hokey, schlocky, cheap. It felt forced. Thankfully it didn't ruin the two previous plays. I have a feeling the third play will fade in my memory and the two previous plays will become more meaningful in time.
I don't often talk about audience behavior but I want to say a little something here. The night before Richard and I had seen the Mark Morris Dance Group do *L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato* at BAM. The performance ended and the audience gave an instant standing ovation, because we had seen a transformative cultural experience, artistry at its highest level. There was an instant standing ovation at *Plaza Suite* I think because the audience enjoyed itself and was especially excited to see those two beloved actors onstage, and thank them for sharing it with them. Hm. Now that I write it that way I think I've convinced myself that I shouldn't be so disdainful of the standing ovation at *Plaza Suite*...