Broadway Will Dim Lights This Week in Honor of Neil Simon
The Broadway community mourns the loss of Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, librettist, lyricist, producer and theatre owner/operator Neil Simon, who passed away on Sunday, August 26 at age 91. The Committee of Theatre Owners has decided to dim the lights of Broadway theatres in New York in his memory on Thursday, August 30 at exactly 6:45pm for one minute.
"Neil Simon's plays are a testament to the human experience: he made audiences laugh, cry and think. No other American playwright has had as many performances or as many shows in production simultaneously on Broadway. The outpouring of accolades and personal memories being shared since his death are a tribute to how deeply he influenced our culture and touched the lives of literally millions of theatregoers," said Thomas Schumacher, Chairman of the Broadway League. "His legacy will continue for years to come, and the Broadway industry is proud to dim the lights of our theatres in his honor."
On Broadway, Mr. Simon was known for his iconic works such as Lost in Yonkers (1991), Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983; Revival, 2009), (1985),Broadway Bound (1986), Come Blow Your Horn (1961), Barefoot in the Park (1963; Revival 2006), The Odd Couple (1965; Revivals 1985, 2005), The Star-Spangled Girl (1966), Plaza Suite (1968), Last of the Red-Hot Lovers (1969), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1971), The Sunshine Boys (1972; Revival, 1997), The Good Doctor (1973), California Suite (1976), Little Me (1961; Revivals 1982, 1998), Sweet Charity (1966; Revivals 1986, 2005), Promises, Promises (1968; Revival, 2010), They're Playing Our Song (1979), Rumors (1988), God's Favorite (1974), Chapter Two (1977), I Ought to Be in Pictures (1980) and many more.
He received 17 Tony Award nominations and won the award three times: in 1965 for The Odd Couple, in 1985 for Biloxi Blues, and in 1991 for Lost in Yonkers which also received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He also received a special Tony Award in 1975 for his contributions to the theatre.
Mr. Simon's plays were frequently adapted for film and television and beyond Broadway his numerous, influential screenwriting credits include: "Your Show of Shows," "The Phil Silvers Show," The Out-of-Towners, The Heartbreak Kid, Murder by Death, The Cheap Detective, Seems Like Old Times, Max Dugan Returns, The Lonely Guy, The Slugger's Wife, and The Odd Couple II among many others. In addition, he also wrote the memoirs Rewrites and The Play Goes On.
Mr. Simon was the recipient of several Writers Guild of America Awards, an American Comedy Awards Lifetime Achievement honor, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, and the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Monte Cristo Award.
He is survived by his wife, Elaine; his children Ellen, Nancy, and Bryn; and three grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Photo: Walter McBride
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