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No Days Off For Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick in Plaza Suite

No Days Off For Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick in Plaza Suite

Neil Simon’s 1960s Plaza Suite won Mike Nichols the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. Neil Simon was nominated for Best Play and the lead actress Maureen Stapleton was nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play. It is so hard to see director John Benjamin Hickey, getting nominated for this production of Plaza Suite now playing at The Hudson Theatre. The production starring real life married couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick is unsteady in the first act, steadier in the second and really amusing by act three.

Sarah Jessica Parker (Joan Marcus)

All three acts take place in room 719 of the Plaza Hotel. The first act “Visitor From Mamaroneck,” introduces us to Karen Nash, who is thrilled to be celebrating her 23rd anniversary with her husband Sam. They haven’t been spending enough time together and Karen feels that spending their anniversary in the same room, they spent their honeymoon in will bring back and rekindle their marriage. She arrives first, but when Sam comes in it is clear the marriage is coming apart. He blames Karen for everything and as she fights to save what is left, it is clear this is over. Broderick and Parker in this segment have no chemistry. It is hard to believe they are even married. This act needs actors who know subtly and that comedy comes from tragedy. This act drags and feels torturous.

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker (Joan Marcus)

Act 2, “Visitor From Hollywood,” brings in their physical comedy and this is where these two excel. Broderick plays Jesse Kiplinger, a nerdy film producer who has hit it big, He has called his high school sweetheart from his hometown in N.J., Muriel Tate, to the Plaza for some high class hanky-panky. Now we see the chemistry between these two and the evening is on an upswing.

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker (Joan Marcus)

The third act “Visitor From Forest Hills,” has Norma and Roy Hubley, frantically trying to get their daughter Mimsey (a wasted Molly Ransom) to unlock the bathroom door and get married. Here Parker and Broderick reach their stride. Norma is mortified over losing face and Roy has just spent $8,000 (in today would be $61,845.45) for this wedding. Broderick brings on laughter and a crazed persona, that is truly fun to watch.

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker (Joan Marcus)

John Lee Beaty’s sets and Jane Greenwood’s costumes, put you in the era and make the Plaza look delightful.

Plaza Suite by Neil Simon, despite what people say, is still relevant. Husbands still leave their wives for their secretaries, women are still enamored of famous people and throw themselves at them like cats to catnip and ungrateful daughters drive their parents to insanity. The show is not relevant not because of the playwright, but because of the director and actors.

Like The Music Man, the audiences love these two who definitely have the “it factor”. They are watchable and garner laughter in a weary world. Will you be entertained….yes. Is this award winning theatre…doubtful, but if the audience feels they are getting their money’s worth, what really is so bad?

Plaza Suite: Hudson Theatre, 141 W. 44th St until June 26th.


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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