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.
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.
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.