Neil Simon’s Chapter Two Masters The Meld Of Wit And Pathos

Stay up to date on South Florida news! Click here to subscribe for email news updates from

Wayne LeGette and Mia Matthews / Photo by Tina Valent

By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage - Chapter Two may be the ultimate play about bringing baggage to a relationship.  If it’s tough when some dates drone on about their last marriage with “that abusive jerk” who dumped them, imagine how a potential romantic partner can compete with the memory of a beloved spouse who died prematurely?

Director Michael Leeds and a solid cast at the Plaza Theatre in Manalapan have mastered Neil Simon’s challenging meld of witty comedy and throat-choking heartache, and make both perfectly plausible facets of life.

Chapter Two is almost uncomfortably autobiographical, which invests it with the imprimatur of credibility. It fictionalizes Simon’s struggles to create a new life with the actress Marsha Mason after the death from cancer of his adored wife Joan.


Note: The opinions in the reviews by Bill Hirschman and his staff are strictly their own.  Bill maintains a daily, comprehensive, website about theater in south Florida. It includes a calendar listing, reviews of current productions, Q&A with some of the actors, directors and producers of shows. Bill was formerly the Sun-Sentinels Theater Reviewer. His arts coverage has appeared in Variety, American Theatre magazine,, A&E magazine, the Miami Herald among many other outlets. 

Share Button
Source: FloridaTheaterOnStage