Reviews for PLAZA SUITE are In…

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker in Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite.” Photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Plaza Suite opened on Broadway last night to a number of yawns, a couple ew-that-didn’t-age -well’s and a few overly generous guffaws. Critics gushed over the set and costumes, and found that much of the joy from the production comes not from the script or play itself, but from admiring the real-life couple playing the roles. But the script and story did not stand up at best and was completely cringe-worthy at worst. So, if you’re going to see Parker and Broderick, you won’t be disappointed; however, if you’re going to see a good show, you might be.

New York Times Review of Plaza Suite

“Despite the wearying efforts of a likable cast headed by Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, the passage of 54 years is more than enough to reveal the triptych of one-act plays as uninhabitable in 2022. That may be why the creative team, led by the director John Benjamin Hickey, has taken pains to set the revival, which opened on Monday at the Hudson Theater, so squarely in its period. The grand but dowdy décor of John Lee Beatty’s champagne-colored rooms, along with Jane Greenwood’s transitional costumes (sometimes mod Pucci, sometimes seamed stockings) and Marc Shaiman’s groovy interstitial pop, put a velvet rope around the action to mark it off as a museum piece. But it would need something more like a cordon sanitaire to protect the audience from the trickle of smarm that leaks from the play. … Looked at now, his “Plaza Suite” jokes, however well formed, keep dying on the vine. The past is not yet past enough to find such an unfair battle of the sexes funny.”

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Hollywood Reporter Review of Plaza Suite

“…This plush revival of a minor 1968 play…hasn’t aged well. Its express purpose is as a vehicle for Parker and husband Matthew Broderick to demonstrate their stage chops and chemistry playing three different sets of characters. Alas, the stars’ efforts, while certainly appealing, don’t make the material any less obsolete, a throwback to the bougie boulevard comedies that were once a Broadway staple. The observations on marriage and relationships occasionally generate a chuckle, but more often seem stale and the sexual politics retrograde, something that John Benjamin Hickey’s serviceable direction can’t disguise. The laughs mostly spring from watching a real-life showbiz couple kick back and have fun bouncing off each other. Judging by the hearty response at a recent press night, for many that might be reward enough. … Broderick and Parker modulate their physical and vocal performances throughout, working up to a hint of crassness that never becomes cartoonish in the final act. If their choice of material is questionable, their commitment to it is not. Parker ultimately walks away with the show; she doesn’t lose the mannerisms that have become essential parts of her screen persona, but she molds them into three distinct characters, finding obvious enjoyment in reconnecting with her stage roots.”

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TimeOut Review of Plaza Suite

“Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite is back on Broadway, and the title character looks great. When the curtain goes up, the set gets entrance applause; designed by John Lee Beatty, that master of envy-inducing decor, it has a golden glow of classic luxury. Simon’s hit 1968 trilogy of short comedies, about three different couples in Room 719 of the ritzy Manhattan hotel, is perhaps less timeless in its appeal. Its main characters are mostly middle-aged, and so is the writing; it is now over 50, and its comic cheek is showing some laugh lines. But the vestiges of laughs are nice wrinkles, as wrinkles go, and while this production doesn’t leave you rolling in the aisles, it is likely to at least leave you smiling.”

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The Guardian Review of Plaza Suite

“Parker and Broderick, long married in real life, are the motivating force for this revival, directed by the Tony-winning actor John Benjamin Hickey. They appear in every scene, each of them set in suite 719 of the Plaza. The suite, designed by John Lee Beatty, is by the way, a triumph; it looks like the French rococo threw up on itself, exclusively in beige. And the period-perfect costumes, by Jane Greenwood, are by and large a treat. … In every scene, Parker is giving the most, carrying the comedy on her narrow shoulders – slumped for Karen, shrugging for Muriel, a wilting if increasingly frantic flower for mother-of-the-bride Norma. Broderick, is doing a lot less, as is his way. But they have a flagrant enjoyment in playing opposite each other, which is the best and maybe the only reason to book in. In the midst of all this heteronormative malaise, here, at least, is one happy marriage.”

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One response to “Reviews for PLAZA SUITE are In…”

  1. […] performances from Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse left critics absolutely agog and (unlike some other recent revivals) sure that the Pulitzer Prize-winning memory play has stood the test of time — finding it as […]

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