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Neil Simon

March 4, 2004 | From Reuters
Playwright Neil Simon has received a kidney donated by his friend and publicist Bill Evans, a representative of the publicist said Wednesday. He said the two men underwent kidney transplant surgery on Tuesday afternoon at a New York hospital. Simon, 76, author of more than 30 plays, has been undergoing kidney dialysis treatment three times a week for the last 18 months. "Both of them are doing well," said Evans representative Jim Randolph.
September 12, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Theater festivals have the potential to galvanize an audience, but in a sprawling city already awash in performance, the importance of sharp curating can't be overemphasized. Radar L.A., an adventurous amalgam of international theater, made a winning debut in 2011 in part because it recognized that L.A. is a unique metropolis and that a replica of New York's Under the Radar Festival just wouldn't cut it. It took more than two years for the festival to return, but the wait promises to be worth it. The program, presented by REDCAT and CalArts in association with Center Theatre Group and a consortium of other partners, features work from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, New Zealand and Japan as well as our own backyard.
October 17, 2006 | From the Washington Post
So many famous people owe some portion of their careers, if not their entire careers, to Neil Simon's genius with words that the thank-yous were entirely personal when the 79-year-old legend was presented with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center on Sunday night. Jonathan Silverman, who played Simon as a young man in "Brighton Beach Memoirs" and "Broadway Bound," said his association with the writer's work "changed my life. He plucked me from obscurity."
May 8, 2013 | Doyle McManus
For the last two months, President Obama has been mired in Washington's inside game, caught up in backroom congressional politics as he tried unsuccessfully to pass a bill on gun control and nudge Republican senators toward compromise on the budget. But do his losses mean, as some pundits suggest, that, four months into his second term, the president is already a lame duck? The answer may depend on the mood far outside the capital. This week, the president is leaving town to launch what the White House, reverting to campaign mode, is calling a "middle-class jobs and opportunities tour.
Rumor has it that there are people who don't laugh during Neil Simon plays. And when they're found, some scientist will probably get a grant to study them. For everyone else, for nearly 30 years a ticket to a Simon play has meant a ticket to mirth. "Brighton Beach Memoirs," now playing at the North Coast Repertory Theatre through Aug. 9, is no exception to this rule. It is decidedly more ambitious than Simon's earlier works.
August 17, 1989 | JERRY BUCK, Associated Press
Playwright Neil Simon says tickling the funny bone is a better way to reflect reality than drama. "I don't think about what I'm trying to reflect of the human condition," said Simon, who will be honored on PBS's "American Masters" next Monday. "I've found that comedy is the best way for me to reflect my own feelings. I think comedy can be more realistic than drama. But I do like the mixture of comedy and drama in a play."
April 11, 1998 | LEE HARRIS
Here's the rundown on guests and topics for the weekend's public-affairs programs: Today "Saturday Journal": Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post staff writer; Amy Holmes, Independent Women's Forum, 5 a.m. C-SPAN. "Today": Neil Simon; tax advice for late filers; filmmaker Michael Moore; prom fashions; the New York Auto Show; health-care costs (Part 1 of 2), 5 a.m. (4)(39). "John McLaughlin's One on One": United Nations, 1:30 p.m. (28). "Evans & Novak": Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), 2:30 p.m.
September 17, 1988 | BARBARA ISENBERG, Times Staff Writer
Neil Simon has a cold, so he's eating onion soup. Does he mind talking while he eats? No. "It takes my mind off the soup." Actually, it takes his mind off plenty of things. His new play, "Rumors," opens at the Old Globe Theatre here on Thursday. He's been working almost around the clock through four weeks of rehearsals, and he is out of energy and ideas both. Better he should do an interview.
December 29, 1996 | STEVE ALLEN
Not only do I tell you, at the outset, that I hugely enjoyed reading Neil Simon's memoir, I hereby state my willingness to do physical battle with any other reviewer who displays the effrontery to differ with my opinion. There very probably will be nonesuch, of course. If they do emerge, they will have nothing to fear from Simon, since his good fortune as the most successful playwright since Shakespeare presumably renders him immune from their paltry slings and arrows.
Going to the theater at the intimate Cabrillo Playhouse here is like entering a time warp to a bygone age when everything was cozy and quaint. On the night I went to see Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs," which opened last week, everybody in the audience seemed to know each other. The men, tan in jackets and open-necked shirts, looked as if they might have spent the day on the golf course. The women, chatting amiably, might have come from a garden party.
March 29, 2013 | By Rebecca Keegan
British actor Richard Griffiths, best known for playing muggle Uncle Vernon Dursley in the "Harry Potter" movies, has died. Griffiths died Thursday at University Hospital in Coventry, England, from complications following heart surgery, his agent, Simon Beresford, told the Associated Press. He was 65. Large in body and presence, Griffiths appeared in character roles in dozens of films and TV shows, but made his biggest mark as the boy wizard's grumpy uncle. PHOTOS: Richard Griffiths 1947-2013 "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe said Griffiths' true demeanor was far kinder.
February 28, 2013 | By F. Kathleen Foley, This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.
Andrea Kuchlewska's “Complete,” now in its West Coast premiere at the Matrix, is a portmanteau parody that jointly sends up the self-help movement, as well as the study of linguistics. The excesses and pretensions of both subjects are potentially fascinating.  Unfortunately, Kuchlewska's play is so awash in jargon that meaning is often swamped. The dialogue varies from comical self-help banalities to arcane linguistic references that baffle anyone not conversant with the subject.
October 24, 2012 | By Philip Brandes
For a floundering screenwriter and deadbeat dad, the unexpected appearance of the daughter he abandoned 16 years earlier spells screwball trouble - albeit fewer surprises than one might hope for - in Neil Simon's “I Ought to Be in Pictures” at the Falcon Theatre. This revival of Simon's 1980 comedy-drama features Robert Wuhl as Herb Tucker, one of the playwright's prototypical protagonists: an acerbic, narcissistic man-child and transplanted New Yorker who waxes poetic about the scarcity of good deli food in L.A. Having successfully evaded commitment to his undemanding and level-headed girlfriend (Kelly Hare)
June 16, 2012 | Susan King
It's been 34 years since actress Lucie Arnaz, comedian Robert Klein and composer Marvin Hamlisch came together to do "They're Playing Our Song. " The lighthearted musical comedy opened in December 1978 at the Ahmanson Theatre and went to Broadway in February 1979, where it played for 1,082 performances. Penned by Neil Simon, the essentially two-character play revolved around the working and personal relationship between a neurotic, funny composer and a quirky lyricist. The musical play was inspired by the romantic relationship between Hamlisch and lyricist Carole Bayer Sager.
June 14, 2012 | By David C. Nichols
"This weekend is going to make a colonoscopy look like a treasure hunt,” says the reluctant host of “The Long Weekend” at Theatre 40. However comically overstated, it's not far off the mark. Training his facility with one-liners and a crowd-pleasing formula toward character truth and narrative logic, playwright Norm Foster scores a bull's-eye with this tickling romp about mismatched spouses. Meet straight-arrow Max (John Mullen, droll and proficient), the aforementioned host, an upscale lawyer with a new country house, which he and Wynn (Kathryn Larsen, adept and appealing)
December 15, 2011 | Will Reiser
'50/50" was the first feature script I ever wrote. The reason? When it came to writing, there was nothing exceptional about any of my ideas. I'd always aspired to write movies like the very ones that inspired me: "The Apartment," "Harry and Tonto," "Harold and Maude. " Comedies that are not only funny, they're tragic and they're human. But those movies are experiential meditations, and when I was in my early 20s, the only thing I knew to write about was what it's like to be single, horny and terrified of women.
August 21, 1989 | DAN SULLIVAN, Times Theater Critic
Neil Simon is taking questions from the audience. He is asked how stand-up comedy evolved. Gee, I wouldn't have a clue, he says. Probably it's rooted in "the absence of chairs." Now, that's funny. And so, happily, is most of tonight's "American Masters" profile of Simon, despite its rather lugubrious title--"Neil Simon: Not Just for Laughs" (KPBS Channel 15 at 9:05 p.m.).
September 14, 1989 | NANCY CHURNIN
The Old Globe Theatre will present "Jake's Women," its second world premiere of a Neil Simon play in two years, March 8 to April 15. Ron Link, known in Los Angeles for his kinetic stagings of "Bouncers" and "Stand-Up Tragedy," will direct. The Simon play is one of six productions announced for the winter/spring season at the Old Globe. Preceding "Jake's Women" on the main stage Jan. 11 to Feb. 18 will be Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya," directed by Jack O'Brien, the Old Globe's artistic director.
September 29, 2011 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
"I am one of the last of my kind," says etiquette columnist Andrew Carlson (David Hornsby) at the very top of "How to Be a Gentleman," a new series from CBS, where all comedies are multi-camera comedies, as in days of old, when "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" ruled the air. "I open the door for ladies, but I am not a doorman ... I put out cigarettes, but I am not a cigarette putter-out man. " What Andrew is is a throwback, an etiquette columnist at...
March 20, 2011 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
Of course there's a big Bollywood-style musical finale (even though it wasn't in the original script). And naturally, there's a boisterous wedding scene, wisecracks about the Kama Sutra, a large dollop of "East-West" conflict and clothes as brilliantly hued as a tropical fruit basket. What else would you expect from a bittersweet domestic drama about multigenerational Indian migrants coping with family life in a northern England town? But if Ayub Khan-Din's play "Rafta, Rafta" fulfills certain cultural expectations, it blithely flouts others.
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