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Chapter Two

Chapter Two
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Neil Simon
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 144
Pub. Date: 1979
ISBN-10: 0573607567
ISBN-13: 9780573607561
Cast Size: 2 women, 2 men

About the Play:

Chapter Two is a full-length comedy by Neil Simon. A successful writer mourning the recent loss of his beloved wife fears he will never love again until a grudging five-minute meeting with a recently divorced actress blooms into a passionate romance. Neil Simon's comedy about love the second time around is based on the author's second marriage, which began in the wake of his first wife's death.

Chapter Two is widely perceived to be an autobiographical revelation of Neil Simon's coming to terms with the death of his first wife from cancer, followed by his love affair and subsequent marriage to actress Marsha Mason. This very funny but poignant play is based around four brilliantly penned characters: George Schneider, a recently widowed spy novelist; Jenny Malone, a levelheaded actress; Leo, George's garrulous but loving younger brother; and Faye, Jenny's utterly clueless but enchanting friend. George has not moved on from the untimely demise of his wife, despite Leo's best efforts to hook him up with other women. Then Leo comes up with Jennie Malone, who's just walked out of a terrible marriage to a football player, and in a very short space of time they're in love. Still, it's a bumpy trip on the road to Dreamland for these not-so-young lovers. George and Jennie stumble on, overcoming both their hesitation on the rebound and emotional neediness. But George's memories catch up with him and he soon finds himself trapped between the past and the present, and the new relationship starts to crumble. Can he reconcile his past and move forward with Jenny, a sentimental woman with a strong head on her shoulders? Do they give up or work things out? In a hilarious, farcical subplot, Leo has a fling with Faye, Jennie's neurotic married friend. Although it seems like a heavy subject to deal with, Neil Simon's wonderful narrative and witty and humorous dialogue makes Chapter Two an immensely likeable piece. In George and Jenny, he shows us complexity and simplicity. In Leo and Faye, he presents us with two of the most confused yet adorable characters that we connect with right from the word go.

Chapter Two had a pre-Broadway engagement in 1977 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles and won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for Distinguished Production and Distinguished Playwriting. It premiered later that same year at the Imperial Theatre and ran for over a year on Broadway, receiving a Tony Award nomination for Best Play. The play is considered one of Neil Simon’s finest works and is regularly performed in regional repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 2 women, 2 men.

What people say:

"A sure smash." — Variety

"Lovely whimsical and touching and always funny...most of the time downright hilarious." — New York Post

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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