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The Prisoner of Second Avenue

The Prisoner of Second Avenue
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Neil Simon
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 90
Pub. Date: 2010
ISBN-10: 0573614296
ISBN-13: 9780573614293
Cast Size: 4 women, 3 men

About the Play:

The Prisoner of Second Avenue is a full-length comedy by Neil Simon. A well-to-do man loses his job, succumbs to the pressures of big-city life and suffers a nervous breakdown in this Neil Simon masterpiece about a middle-aged couple facing everything from unemployment to noisy neighbours to a garbage strike.

The Prisoner of Second Avenue revolves around the problems of a middle-aged couple living on Second Avenue on the Upper East Side of New York City. Mel Edison is a well paid executive of a high-end Manhattan firm which has suddenly hit the skids and he gets the axe. His wife Edna takes a job to tide them over, then she too is sacked. Compounded by the air-pollution killing his plants, and with the walls of the apartment paper-thin, allowing him a constant earful of his neighbours private lives things can't seem to get any worse...then he's robbed and his psychiatrist dies with $23,000 of his money. Mel does the only thing left for him to do-he has a nervous breakdown and it's the best thing that ever happened to him....

The Prisoner of Second Avenue premiered in 1971at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre and ran for almost two years on Broadway, receiving a Tony Award nomination for Best Play. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 4 women, 3 men.

What people say:

"A gift for taking a grave subject and, without losing sight of its basic seriousness, treating it with hearty but sympathetic humor...A talent for writing a wonderful funny line...full of humor and intelligence. Fine fun." — New York Post

"Creates an atmosphere of casual cataclysm, an everyday urban purgatory of copelessness from which laughter seems to be released like vapor from the city's manholes." — Time Magazine

"Laguna High School's performance of The Prisoner of Second Avenue, by Neil Simon, is a testament to the fact that high school students not only understand, but appreciate witty humor. The performance proves that a Neil Simon comedy can never fail." —  Orange County Register

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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