An enthusiastic audience of baby boomers and younger supporters of the arts got a chance to turn back the hands of time by 45 years on January 19 when Neil Simon's Plaza Suite opened at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre.
Set for a run that wraps up on February 10, the cast includes U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Officer-turned-actor Karol Garrison; theatrical and film actress Alicia Craff; prolific stage actress Andrea Stradling; and television and stage actor Howard Lockie, whose catchpenny performance carries the play.
The comedy, which originally opened on Broadway in 1968, is comprised of three acts, featuring different storylines and characters. The connecting rod among the trio of playlets is the setting - Suite 719 of New York City's Plaza Hotel.
Holding down triple duty, Stradling and Lockie portray the main characters in each of the acts.
In the first act, the audience is introduced to a middle-aged couple revisiting their honeymoon suite in an effort by the wife to reignite the spark that once existed in their marriage. The second act involves a libido-driven Hollywood movie producer that reunites with a former high school flame for an afternoon of seduction and hot romance. Filled with a barrage of slapstick comedy, act three focuses on a couple of parents in their cohesive attempt to cajole their daughter on her wedding day.
From the moment he makes his presence known, Lockie commands the stage in a powerful demonstration of character-driven comedy that escalates, by act three, to outrageous humor and over-the-top physical comedy. Lockie's clownish exploitation of drama is an exercise aspiring thespians would want to study.
For reservations, phone (310) 828-7519.