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California Suite

California Suite
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Neil Simon
Publisher: Samuel French, Inc.
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 122
Pub. Date: 1977
ISBN-10: 0573606641
ISBN-13: 9780573606649
Cast Size: 6 female, 5 male (alternate casting 3 female, 2 male with doubling)

About the Play:

California Suite is a full-length comedy by Neil Simon. A four-part comedy confection as only Neil Simon can write it! California Suite showcases four couples, from London, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York, who travel to Los Angeles at different times during the same year and separately inhabit a Beverly Hills hotel suite, bringing along their problems, anxieties, and comical marital dilemmas.

California Suite is four short plays that feature various visitors to the Beverly Hills Hotel, following the stories of five couples who spend the night under the same roof. They don't know each other. They don't even bump into each other, with the exception of the final offering involving friendship between two couples. In Visitor from New York, a Manhattan magazine writer is joined by her ex-husband, a successful screenwriter, the question being with whom should their teenage daughter spend the next six months? The banter flies fast and furious as the divorced couple tries to decide what's best for their daughter. In the Visitor from Philadelphia, a conservative businessman finds himself in a very difficult position when his wife arrives at the suite, finding him in bed with a mysterious young woman. Visitors from London brings an actress, over from England for the Oscars with her husband, an antique dealer who is becoming increasingly indiscreet about his sexual orientation. She has been nominated for Best Actress and is banking on the Oscar to kick-start her faltering career. So when they arrive back after the ceremony Oscar-less the fun really starts. The Visitors from Chicago are two affluent couples who are best friends and have come to Beverly Hills for a vacation, which takes a turn for the worst after a mixed doubles tennis match. Although California Suite deals with themes such as marriage, regret, infidelity and the pitfalls of fame, Neil Simon ensures that his tales of people in desperate situations are immensely funny as well as poignant.

California Suite premiered in 1976 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on Broadway in New York City. It is regularly performed in community and college theatre productions because, like Almost, Maine by John Cariani, it can accommodate a large cast, but doesn't require that cast to all appear onstage together at any point. This allows for maximum participation while making rehearsals significantly less taxing than your average show.

Cast: 6 female, 5 male (alternate casting 3 female, 2 male with doubling)

What people say:

"Mr. Simon is writing at his ebullient best...his language has the grace of conversation we wish our friends could muster...makes us laugh so effortlessly." — New York Times

"The incisiveness of his wit is driven by an insight into everyday humans and the cultures from which their habits are derived." — Chicago Theatre Beat

"The middle aged visitors had last night's middle aged audience laughing heartily." — New York Daily News

Neil Simon (1927-2018) was America's most prolific playwright. He had dozens of plays and nearly as many major motion pictures produced. He was showered with more Academy and Tony nominations than any other writer, and is the only playwright to have four Broadway productions running simultaneously. His plays have been produced in dozens of languages, and have been blockbuster hits from Beijing to Moscow. His true success, however, is in his unique way of exposing something real in the American spirit.

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