Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Community Players rendition of Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite” continues through this weekend

| November 1, 2023 10:55 AM

The Bigfork Community Players are bringing Neil Simon to town for one more weekend.

Simon had a talent for packaging collections of one-act plays into the suites of posh hotels. Plaza Suite, which closes this weekend in Bigfork, was his first of three successes with the format.

Plaza Suite consists of three separate stories set in Suite 719 of the Plaza Hotel in New York. 

In the first, a suburban couple take the suite while their house is being painted and it turns out to be the very room where they honeymooned 23 (or was it 24?) years before. And yesterday was their anniversary, or is it today? 

After this, we follow the script of a Hollywood producer who, after three marriages, is looking for a different ending. When he calls a childhood sweetheart for a little reunion, is it love, lust, or just longing on his mind? 

The sweetheart, having for years idolized him from afar, may offer a twist to the plot he hadn’t anticipated. 

The third occupants are parents strategizing about how to get their daughter out of the bathroom and down to the ballroom where guests await her appearance as the bride.

Allison McCarthy and Michele Shapero both act in and co-direct Plaza Suite. 

“The unique multiple one-act format of this play allows us to both act and direct in the same production,” said Shapero. “I direct while Allison acts and she directs while I do.”

“This is my first experience at directing,” said McCarthy, “so I felt comfortable with a shorter piece and was happy to have Michele, as a more experienced director, working with me.”

“I like Neil Simon’s comedic sensibilities and am drawn to his plays,” said Shapero. “I’ve directed both the male and female versions of The Odd Couple and acted in Rumors and Jake’s Women. As a playwright, he reliably delivers engaging stories with enough substance to send you home thinking.”

John Goroski, a long-time actor and director with the Bigfork Community Players, plays Jesse Kiplinger, the Hollywood producer in the second story. 

“Friendship, love, sex, and seduction are pillars of the human condition,” he said. “And with Neil Simon, nothing is as straightforward as it might seem. I love the opportunity he provides to explore the complexities of life.”

Plaza Suite plays for three shows this weekend, November 3-5. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Tickets are available at Bigfork Drug, at the door, and at