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The Library of Congress Has Acquired The Manuscripts and More Of Tony and Pulitzer Prize Winner Neil Simon

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The Library of Congress has acquired the manuscripts and papers of playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon, the most commercially successful American playwright of the 20th century.

The donation will be announced at a special event with actors Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, and Elaine Joyce, actor and Simon’s widow, Monday night at the Library. The public is invited to join the event by livestream starting at 7 PM ET on the Library’s YouTube channel.

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker (Joan Marcus)

Parker and Broderick are currently starring in the revival of Simon’s Plaza Suite on Broadway. John Benjamin Hickey, director of Plaza Suite, will moderate the conversation with Broderick and Parker. Joyce will discuss her donation of Simon’s collection to the national library.

Neil Simon

Neil Simon with his Tony Award

“Neil Simon’s work has left an undeniable mark on American culture and theater,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “The donation of Simon’s papers to our nation’s library is a treasured addition to our holdings that enhances our performing arts collection as one of the best in the world. It also ensures Simon’s legacy is preserved for generations to come.”

The collection includes approximately 7,700 items documenting Simon’s creative process and life. The materials range from hundreds of scripts, notes and outlines for his plays, including handwritten first drafts and multiple drafts of typescripts, documenting the evolution of his shows. It contains papers from Simon’s most celebrated plays, including Barefoot in the Park, The Sunshine Boys, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and Lost in Yonkers.

The donation also includes materials from the 25 screenplays Simon wrote during his career, including The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Heartbreak Kid, and The Goodbye Girl, in addition to several scripts for shows never completed or produced, such as one titled The Merry Widows, written for Bette Midler and Whoopi Goldberg.

Beyond Simon’s typed scripts, materials in the collection include his Pulitzer Prize, a Tony Award, dozens of personal notebooks, notes and drafts of letters and speeches. In addition, there are photographs, programs, clippings, original posters and signed baseballs (Simon was a noted fan).

“There was only ever one answer to the question, ‘What do I do with all of Neil’s stuff?’ I am delighted that his brilliant work, his prized possessions, and his personal artifacts will live alongside so many of the world’s treasures in the Library of Congress,” said Elaine Joyce Simon, actor and Simon’s widow. “I hope that by providing access to these materials for students, researchers and educators, Neil’s singular mind will continue to inspire generations of theater makers and comedy writers well into the future.”

A few highlights of the collection include:

·         Dozens of notebooks, full of Simon’s tight scrawl. Some are clearly first drafts written in his study, while others were likely notes scribbled in the back of darkened theaters, including changes, additions, and notes for the actors or director, inspired by what he saw on stage during rehearsals.

·         A yellowing first act of Barefoot in the Park. Sixty years old now, it wasn’t Simon’s first Broadway show, but it was, perhaps one that marks the beginning of his unequaled track record. It was also the first appearance on Broadway of a then unknown actor, Robert Redford.

·         Perhaps the most surprising discovery in the collection has been over a dozen notepads filled with watercolors, drawings, and cartoons by Simon.

·         Simon began his career in the 1950s writing for radio and television, famously for Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows.” By the end of his career, Simon had 30 new shows open on Broadway, not including revivals. While Simon was known for writing comedies, he took on increasingly serious subjects, including the 1991 play Lost in Yonkers, which received the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Simon was nominated for an unprecedented 14 Tony Awards throughout his career and won three, in addition to a special prize for contribution to the theatre. He died in 2018 in New York City.

The papers of Neil Simon join those of other prolific Broadway playwrights held in the Library’s performing arts collections, such as the Arthur Laurents Collection, the screenwriter and playwright whose films include The Way We Were, The Turning Point, and writer of the librettos for the musicals West Side Story and Gypsy. The Library also holds the Marvin HamlischCollection; Hamlisch and Simon collaborated on the musicals They’re Playing Our Song and The Goodbye Girl. The papers of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, close friends of Simon’s and his collaborators for the musical Sweet Charity, are also housed in the Library’s collection.

The Music Division at the Library of Congress — formally established in 1897 within the Library’s Jefferson Building upon its completion — traces the origin of its collections to the 13 books on music literature and theory in Thomas Jefferson’s library, purchased by Congress in 1815. Today, the division’s collections number close to 25 million items, including the manuscripts and papers of hundreds of composers, lyricists, playwrights, screenwriters, performers, musicians, directors, designers, and choreographers, in addition to music and book collections, microforms and copyright deposits.

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: suzanna@t2conline.com

Broadway

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

KNIVES OUT AGAIN — (Via Deadline) The next installment in the Knives Out series has its title. Writer/director Rian Johnson announced on social media this morning that the film will be called Wake Up Dead Man. It was also confirmed that the film would come out sometime in 2025 and that production would be under way soon with Daniel Craig returning to star.

Johnson returns as the writer and director of the series and will also produce the pic with his partner Ram Bergman. Plot details are unknown and as of now Craig is the only talent involved.

The most recent pic, Glass Onion, bowed in 2022 with Craig returning as world famous detective Benoit Blanc. The film premiered on Netflix after the streamer made a record setting $450 million deal for the two sequels with this being the third in the series.

SHORT TAKES — The trailer for Beverley Hills Cop 4 is out. Here it is:

Harold Faltermeyer

The theme for the movie sounds like a cheap re-working of “Alex F” an electronic instrumental track by German musician Harold Faltermeyer …

The Wallows

The Wallows, who I’ve never heard of, kicked off the Today Show Summer Concert series. When interviewed, each of them said they used to watch the show before they went to school. My, I wonder how that made the hosts feel? Even Carson Daly, who’s no kid either, must have batted an eye. Interesting band. Nothing special I saw, but good luck to them …

David Krumholtz

SIGHTING: David (Numbers) Krumholtz at the Factory Bar Friday for Trivia Night … (Via Theatermania) Grammy

Stephanie Mills

Award winner Stephanie Mills will return to Broadway to play Hermes in the Tony Award-winning musical Hadestown. Her first performance will be July 2, coinciding with the start dates of Maia Reficco and Yola. Mills takes over from Jon Jon Briones, who plays his final performance June 30. Mills originated the role of Dorothy in the first Broadway production of The Wiz in 1975. Her last appearance on Broadway was for a special concert in 1989 … The Washington Post will go full AI. Check out this story: https://futurism.com/washington-post-pivot-ai

Tracker

… A short Memorial Day-vacay in East Hampton was great. Checked out Sakura and was introduced to CBS’ Tracker with Justin Hartley. Smartly done and directed by Ken Olin from Thirtysomething. Impressed for sure …

Billy Joel

The Long Island Musical Hall of Fame abruptly canceled their June 7 event, honoring Billy Joel at Tilles Center.  Performers at the event were to be Run-DMC; Debbie Gibson; and Felix Cavaliere.  Joel said a family event would prevent him from attending …

RIP producer

Al Ruddy

. He produced The Godfather and Million Dollar Baby. Check out Deadline’s obit: https://deadline.com/2024/05/al-ruddy-dead-godfather-million-dollar-baby-1235942541/

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Marsha Stern; Jane Berk; Randy Jones; James Edstrom; Chuck Scarborough; Bill Adler; Dan Zelinski; Bobby Shaw; Mike Greenly; Mark Bego; Roy Trakin; Crispin Cioe; Steve Walter; Steve Paul; Lou Reed; Foreigner; Bobby Watman; Bobby Orlando; Adriana Kaegi; Thomas Silverman; Seymour Stein; Barry and Marissa Zelman; Dan Zelinski; and ZIGGY!

Images on this page have been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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Broadway

Backstage with Richie Ridge Presents

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Drama Desk and OCC member Richie Ridge, of Broadway World’s Backstage with Richie Ridge, will moderate a discussion with Kelli O’Hara and Brian d’Arcy James, both Drama Desk nominees for Lead Performance in a Musical for Days of Wine and Roses, at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29 at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Robin Williams Center (247 West 54th St., opposite Studio 54). Drama Desk members are invited. The doors will open at 1:30 p.m., and attendance is first come, first served. Latecomers may not be admitted.

Based on the 1964 movie about a couple falling in love in 1950s New York and struggling to maintain a family in the face of alcohol addiction, Days of Wine and Roses, with music and lyrics by Adam Guettel and a book by Craig Lucas, opened at Studio 54 on Jan. 28, 2024. O’Hara and d’Arcy James are both Tony nominees as well.

SAG-AFTRA Foundation and BroadwayWorld have partnered for a filmed Conversations Q&A series to recognize and celebrate the vibrant theater community in New York City and the actors who aspire to have a career on the stage and screen.

If you would like to attend, please fill out the form here. Be sure to select the Non-member option.

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Broadway

Backstage with Richie Ridge Presents The Outsiders

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Richie Ridge, of Broadway World’s Backstage with Richie Ridge, will moderate adiscussion with stars of the new Drama Desk– and Tony-nominated musical The Outsiders at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 31, at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Robin Williams Center (247 West 54th St., opposite Studio 54). Members of the Drama Desk are invited to attend. The doors will open at 1:30 p.m., and attendance is first come, first served. Latecomers may not be admitted.

Participants in the panel will be Drama Desk and Tony nominees director Danya Taymor and lead actor Brody Grant, along with Tony featured actor nominees Sky Lakota-Lynch and Joshua Boone. With music and lyrics by Justin Levine and a book by Levine and Adam Rapp, The Outsiders, is a nominee for both Drama Desk and Tony Awards for best musical, opened at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater on April 11, 2024.

SAG-AFTRA Foundation and BroadwayWorld have partnered for a filmed Conversations Q&A series to recognize and celebrate the vibrant theater community in New York City and the actors who aspire to have a career on the stage and screen.

If you would like to attend, please fill out the form here. Be sure to select the Non-member option.

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Richard M. Sherman Songwriter for Mary Poppins and Jungle Book Passes On

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Richard M. Sherman, was a nine-time Academy Award nominee along with his brother Robert. The Sherman Brothers wrote more than 200 songs for some 27 films and 24 television productions. Their film credits include Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Parent Trap, Summer Magic tv, The Sword in the Stone, That Darn Cat!, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, The Happiest Millionaire, The Aristocats, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

The won two Academy Awards for Mary Poppins, taking home the trophies for Best Score – Substantially Original and Best Original Song (for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”). They won three Grammy awards and received 24 gold and platinum albums and were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and received the US National Medal of the Arts in 2008.

They also wrote the score on Broadway for Over Here.

The brothers were portrayed in the 2013 film Saving Mr. Banks, which told the story behind the making of Mary Poppins.

Sherman died of age-related illness at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills. His brother Robert died in 2012.

 

 

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The Outer Critics Circle (OCC) Awards And You Are There Part 2

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Yesterday we gave you part 1 of The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), awards ceremony held at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for The Performing Arts 111 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC).

In this part Steve Guttenberg gives the award to Outstanding Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Play: Jay O. Sanders – Primary Trust


Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical:
 Andrew Durand  Dead Outlaw

Current President David Gordon introduced Andrea Martin who gave away the awards for Outstanding Direction of a Musical: Jessica Stone – Water for Elephants

A special award was given to Harry Haun longtime OCC member who served on the board as well.

Outstanding Choreography (Broadway or Off-Broadway):Justin Peck —Illinoise

And the tie for Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Play: William Jackson Harper, Primary Trust

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play: Primary Trust

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical: Dead Outlaw

Kelechi Watson presented the awards for Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Musical: Kecia Lewis  Hell’s Kitchen

Outstanding Direction of a Play: Daniel Aukin – Stereophonic

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Musical: Kelli O’Hara  Days of Wine and Roses


Outstanding New Broadway Play:
 Stereophonic

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Outstanding New Broadway Musical: Suffs

Founded during the 1949-50 Broadway season by respected theater journalist John Gassner, The Outer Critics Circle is an esteemed association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and online news organizations, in America and abroad. Led by its current President David Gordon, the OCC Board of Directors also includes Vice President Richard Ridge, Recording Secretary Joseph Cervelli, Corresponding Secretary Patrick Hoffman, Treasurer David Roberts, Cynthia Allen, Harry Haun, Dan Rubins, Janice Simpson and Doug Strassler. Simon Saltzman is President Emeritus & Board Member (Non-nominating) and Stanley L. Cohen serves as Financial Consultant & Board Member (Non-nominating). Lauren Yarger serves as the Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony executive producer.

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