Is Neil Simon’s brand of comedy still funny? I think not: his two-line rhythm (character one sets up the laugh with an innocuous remark, character two pounces with an ironic rejoinder or a surprise spin) has fallen out of favor except on the lowest-common-denominator sitcoms. Simon (1927–2018) was the most successful American playwright of the second half of the twentieth century and drew crowds on Broadway even into the 1990s, but the entire decade of the 2010s passed without any of Simon’s many straight plays being revived on Broadway. The inaugural revival of 1968’s Plaza Suite (through July 1 at the Hudson Theatre) is the first of these to be staged on Broadway since the return of Brighton Beach Memoirs. That mossy 1930s family comedy was a hit that lasted three years in its original form in the mid-1980s, when many theatergoers were old...


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