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California Suite

At Bennett Hall, 62 Centre Street

CALIFORNIA SUITE
BY NEIL SIMON

     
     California Suite is a 1976 play by Neil Simon. Similar instructure to his earlier Plaza Suite, the comedy is composed of four playlets set in Suite 203-04 of The Beverly Hills Hotel. In Visitor from New York, Hannah Warren is a Manhattan workaholic who flies to Los Angeles to retrieve her teenaged daughter Jenny after she leaves home to live with her successful screenwriter father William. The bickering divorced couple is forced to decide what living arrangements are best for the girl.

     Conservative middle-aged businessman Marvin Michaels is the Visitor from Philadelphia, who awakens to discover a prostitute named Bunny unconscious in his bed after consuming a bottle of vodka. With his wife Millie on her way up to the suite, he must find a way to conceal all traces of his uncharacteristic indiscretion.

     The Visitors from London are British actress Diana Nichols, a first-time nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and her husband Sidney, a once-closeted antique dealer who has become inceasingly indiscreet about his sexual orientation. The Oscar is an honor that could jumpstart her faltering career, although Diana knows she doesn't have a chance of winning. As she prepares for her moment in the spotlight, her mood fluctuates from hope to panic to despair.

     The Visitors from Chicago are two affluent couples who are best friends. Stu Franklyn and his wife Gert and Mort Hollender and his wife Beth are taking a much-needed vacation together. Things begin to unravel quickly when Beth is hurt during a mixed doubles tennis match and Mort accuses Stu of having caused her injury by lobbing the ball.

"For those of us who imagine Los Angeles as nothing but a long street in a desperate search of a parking lot, Neil Simon's California Suite...will come as a vast relief" - The New York Times

"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." – The 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." – NY Daily News

When: MAY 24 - JUNE 15