ENLARGE Neil Simon in 2012. Simon & Schuster has combined his two memoirs into one volume, set to be published Tuesday. Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/Associated Press
Bookish theater fans will have many pages to turn this fall, as two books about great American playwrights hit the shelves.
Simon & Schuster has combined Neil Simon’s two memoirs into one volume, set to be published Tuesday, well in advance of what would have been his 90th birthday on July 4, 2017.
The new edition comes with an introduction by Nathan Lane because, said publisher Jonathan Karp, “We wanted the greatest comic actor of our time to write about the greatest comic playwright of our time.”
Meanwhile, there are dark secrets and dysfunction in “By Women Possessed: A Life of Eugene O’Neill,” published by Marian Wood Books/Putnam. The final book in the trilogy by Barbara Gelb and Arthur Gelb, the book draws on previously unavailable diaries of O’Neill’s third wife, Carlotta Monterey O’Neill.
The material provides a detailed, and unsettling, picture of the playwright and his wife late in life.
“If we now have a fuller sense of Carlotta, we also have a more disturbing understanding of O’Neill,” said Ms. Wood. “We know much about the devils that haunted him.”Taking On All Ages
Actors usually move gradually from playing teens to 30-somethings to parents. But actress Zoe Kazan is blitzing through the ages this season.
In Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Love, Love, Love,” her character Rose goes from age 16 to 37. And now in the horror film “The Monster,” to be released Friday, she plays a divorced mother who, she said, “has failed her kid.”
The juxtaposition is stark: In “Love, Love, Love,” her character’s big moment is asking her parents to buy her a house because, well, her stalled life is entirely their fault.
“She’s working very hard to give them a rational, cogent argument,” said Ms. Kazan, 33 years old, who said the scene took some work in rehearsal to keep a tight rein on the character’s emotions.
“I try to keep it as dry as possible,” she said. “I’m trying to explain to them that through neglect, they put me in a position that I cannot assume adulthood.”
Meanwhile, as the mother in “The Monster,” she is playing “someone who had a child very young and is extremely ill equipped to be a parent.”
Ms. Kazan figured her film character, Kathy, would have had her daughter at about 15 years old. And the contrast with “Love, Love, Love” can’t hurt. “I can kind of offset both sides of the coin,” she said.
Luckily for her, she can keep the family drama on stage: “My parents are empathetic, lovely people.”Contract Talks Go On
Off-Broadway producers and the Actors’ Equity Association have agreed to extend their current contract, which expired Sunday, through Nov. 20 as negotiations continue.
At issue are salary increases that would affect productions covered in the off-Broadway agreement, which applies to six major nonprofits, as well as about 100 commercial producers.
Also on the table: the contract governing the Association of Non-Profit Theatre Companies, a group of nine nonprofits with budgets under $3.7 million.
The union and producers’ representatives declined to comment. A person with knowledge of the matter described the talks as making forward progress.
Actors have rallied in a grass-roots campaign, Fair Wage Onstage, to raise awareness of their financial needs via videos and social-media posts. Actor Robert Stanton, a campaign spokesman, said of the negotiations: “We at Fair Wage Onstage are encouraged that the two sides are continuing to talk.”
ENLARGE Raymond Lee and Jon Hoche in ‘Vietgone,’ which has been extended until Dec. 4 at Manhattan Theatre Club. Photo: Carol RoseggShows Extended
Manhattan Theatre Club has extended two shows at New York City Center. Qui Nguyen’s new play “Vietgone” will now run until Dec. 4. A love story between two Vietnam War refugees who meet in an Arkansas relocation camp, the show features a dramatization of the fall of Saigon, complete with simulated helicopter.
“Sell/Buy/Date,” in which playwright and performer Sarah Jones portrays multiple people affected by the sex trade, has been extended through Dec. 3.
—Compiled by Pia Catton
photo of Backstage Buzz: Stage Greats on Page
- J.D. Power & Associates 8 most dependable cars, minivan
- Wake up to this crazy good Goo Goo barbecue biscuit from Holler & Dash
- Muscle Shoals Swampers, Jimmy Hall appear in Bayside Academy music showcase
- New York City Ballet dancer returns to Alabama for "The Sleeping Beauty"
- Who should replace Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on 'SNL'?
- Jimmy Buffett to return to The Wharf in Orange Beach
- Beer garden in the works for downtown Montgomery
- Weekend box office: 'Logan' tears up opening weekend with $85.3M debut
- Resumes are more art than science
- How to open a resume: Objective statement vs. qualifications summary
- Don't confuse a resume with an autobiography
- Do I really need a cover letter? Plus more common resume questions
- Tim Tebow stalked by Colorado woman at Mets spring camp: cops
- KING: The Democratic Party doesn't get why it's so unpopular
- Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy Obamacare replacement should be called ‘Abominable Care’
- Fisher’s finish leads to Match Play and a shot at Masters
- Robinson, Lind ready for a spring training job fight
- World Baseball Classic failing to draw interest of American fans
- Ben Carson confirmed by Senate as HUD secretary
- Proposed $54B jump in defense budget won’t help economy much
- EPA head Scott Pruitt wonders what all the fuss is about over carbon dioxide
- Guns in America: Bill seeks to reverse a decades-old ban on gun-violence research
- LGBTQ veterans slam organizers for barring group from Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade
- Gloria Steinem's next chapter: Educating girls in rural Africa
- Trump vowed to expand the number of U.S. aircraft carriers despite mounting vulnerabilities
- Trump's 'beachhead:' The president has quietly installed hundreds in federal jobs
- Are Donald Trump’s draconian immigration policies working?
- Why has Trump appointed one of his critics as Russian ambassador?
- Women rally for equality, and against Trump, on International Women's Day
- CIA contractors potential source behind latest WikiLeaks release
- Texas moves to curb transgender bathroom access amid protests
- Does Ivanka Trump back or oppose abortion rights?
- Rod Rosenstein nomination: What’s it really about?
- In Trump's coming battle with Congress, who wins and who loses?
- Powerful winds whip through the Great Lakes region
- Vehicles have been trapped at Biloxi crash site before
- Military looking into reports of more nude photo groups
- At 7, this boy runs a company and saves for college
- Gay veterans group says it's not allowed in Boston St. Patrick's parade
- Strange new twist in coldest murder case