"Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, The Sunshine Boys" -- Neil Simon's plays and movies have kept many millions of people laughing for almost four decades. Today he is recognized not only as the most successful American playwright of all time, but also as one of the greatest. More than the humor, however, it is the humanity of Neil Simon's vision that has made him America's most beloved playwright and earned him such enduring success. Now, in "Rewrites," he has written a funny, deeply touching memoir, filled with details and anecdotes of the writing life and rich with the personal experiences that underlie his work. What the listener of this warm, nostalgic memoir discovers, however, is that the plays, although grounded in Neil Simon's own experience, provide only a glimpse into the mind and soul of this very private man. Since "Come Blow Your Horn" first opened on Broadway in 1960, few seasons have passed without the appearance of another of his laughter-filled plays, and indeed on numerous occasions two or more of his works have been running simultaneously. But his success was something Neil Simon never took for granted, nor was the talent to create laughter something that he ever treated carelessly: it took too long for him to achieve the kind of acceptance -- both popular and critical -- that he craved, and the path he followed frequently was pitted with hard decisions. Some of the supporting players in the memoir include Sid Caesar, Jerry Lewis, Walter Matthau, Robert Redford, Gwen Verdon, Bob Fosse, George C. Scott, and Mike Nichols. But always at center stage is his first love, his wife Joan, whose death in the early seventies devastated him, and whose loveand inspiration illuminate this remarkable and revealing self-portrait. "Rewrites" is rich in laughter and emotion, and filled with the memories of a sometimes sweet, sometimes bittersweet life.
Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright, Neil Simon, has become America's most prolific and popular dramatist. While exaggerated, his portrayals of individual angst and dysfunctional family relationships explore life's emotional truths, bringing audiences from laughter to tears and back every time. A Kennedy Center Honor for Lifetime Achievement recipient, Neil is commercially the most successful playwright in history with more than thirty Broadway hits, including four that ran concurrentlya distinction afforded no other author. In recognition of his success, the Shubert Organization renamed a 1920s-era theatre in Manhattan the Neil Simon Theatre.
Broadway successes include Come Blow Your Horn (Brooks Atkinson Theatre), Barefoot in the Park (Biltmore Theatre), The Odd Couple (Plymouth Theatre), Chapter Two and They're Playing Our Song (Imperial Theatre), Brighton Beach Memoirs (Alvin Theatre), Biloxi Blues (Neil Simon Theatre), Broadway Bound (Broadhurst Theatre), and Laught
Mike Nichols "Neil, while telling the absolute truth, makes things both funnier and more positive. And then I realize with a pang that this is truly how it was. I miss it. I miss it all." Steve Martin "Neil Simon has created that rare thing: an autobiographical page-turner. It's a funny and moving work. I cried till I laughed." Gwen Verdon ""Rewrites" is courageously honest and revealing. We all lived, through Neil, a life full of laughter, wonder and sorrow." Hal Prince "A life in the theater is often a refuge from childhood demons. Neil Simon has charted his escape route in this characteristically straightforward, self-critical, and compassionate autobiography of his early years."