Chapter Two (play)
- For other uses, see Chapter Two (disambiguation).
|Written by||Neil Simon|
|Date premiered||October 7, 1977|
|Place premiered||Ahmanson Theatre
|Subject||A writer struggles to escape the memory of his recently deceased wife|
According to Sheridan Morley, "This was in some ways the turning-point for Simon, the moment when he started to use his own life as something more than an excuse for a gag-fest. It was written as a tribute to Marsha Mason, his second wife, and her tolerance with his long-lasting grief over the death of his first wife...There is something very painful here, in among the gags, about a man trying to come to terms with death rather than a new life."
The play had its world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles on October 7, 1977, running through November 26. Produced by Emanuel Azenberg and directed by Herbert Ross the cast featured Judd Hirsch as George, Anita Gillette as Jennie, Cliff Gorman as Leo, and Ann Wedgeworth as Faye. The production won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, 1977-78, for Distinguished Production; Neil Simon, Distinguished Playwriting.
The play opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre with the same Los Angeles cast, on December 4, 1977, and transferred to the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in January 1979, where it closed on December 8, 1979 after 857 performances and seven previews. Cast replacements included David Groh, Dick Latessa, Laurence Luckinbill, Robin Strasser, and Susan Browning. The play was nominated for the 1978 Tony Award for Best Play but lost to Da by Hugh Leonard. Anita Gillette (Best Actress in a Play) and Cliff Gorman (Best Featured Actor in a Play) were nominated for the Tony Award;Ann Wedgeworth won the Tony Award, Featured Actress (Play).
The play premiered in the West End in February 1996 at the Gielgud Theatre, starring Tom Conti and Sharon Gless. Gless later recorded a two-disc audiobook of the play with David Dukes for LA TheatreWorks.
The plot involves George Schneider, a recently widowed writer who is introduced to soap opera actress Jennie Malone by his press agent brother Leo and her best friend Faye. Jennie's unhappy marriage to a football player has dissolved after six years, and she is uncertain if she is ready to start dating again. Neither is George, whose memories of his first wife threaten to interfere with any effort to start a new romance.
|Directed by||Robert Moore|
- Morley, Sheridan. "Choice of Plays for the In-Laws" The New York Times, February 28, 1996
- "Ahmanson Theatre production history" centertheatregroup.org
- "Ahmanson Theatre Awards" centertheatregroup.org (webcache), December 2007, accessed April 11, 2012
- " Chapter Two, Awards and nominations" Internet Broadway Database listing, accessed April 11, 2012
- Thomas, Robert McG., Jr. "Ain't Misbehavin" and Da Win Tonys", The New York Times, June 5, 1978, p.C18
- Hanks, Robert. "Neil Simon's 'Chapter Two' is not a patch on Woody Allen's Annie Hall" The Independent (London), 22 February 1996
- Passafiume, Andrea. Chapter Two" tcm.com, accessed April 11, 2012
- MOVIES: FILM DIRECTING: FOR CAAN, IT'S NOT A FESTIVAL Mann, Roderick. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 02 Nov 1980: q31.