Theatre Review - Plaza Suite

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick in Plaza Suite [Marc Brenner]

NEIL Simon’s 1968 three-act comedy play set in Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel feels dated, although there’s something charming about Hollywood heavyweights Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker (who’ve been married for almost 27 years) playing different couples who meet in room 719.

In the first, Karen and Sam are celebrating their wedding anniversary. Karen has booked the suite where they celebrated their honeymoon 24 years earlier. But Sam is more interested in work and can’t wait to return to the office. He also points out that Karen has incorrectly remembered the date of their anniversary. It’s a bittersweet snapshot of a faltering marriage and Parker plays the dowdy, middle-aged wife with aplomb.

The middle part is slightly problematic. Jesse is a successful Hollywood producer. Muriel, his high school sweetheart (and now awestruck fan), visits him in his hotel suite and they share memories accompanied by copious vodka cocktails. Unfortunately, the shadow of Harvey Weinstein cannot help but hang over this light-hearted reunion.

There’s more slapstick in the final act in which Norma and her husband Roy try to talk their daughter Mimsey (Charlie Oscar) out the bathroom where she has locked herself on her wedding day.

The Savoy is a fitting venue for this entertaining trio of playlets, slickly directed by John Benjamin Hickey. Broderick and Parker give highly polished performances – not a word or strand of hair is out of place (Tom Watson’s wigs are first rate).

Many will find the overblown ticket price off-putting although the run has already been extended.

Several audience members munched their way through a bewildering array of snacks, while attempting to capture the celebs on their phones. Parker apparently had to ask someone to stop filming during an earlier performance.

There’s reverence too, Broadway-style, with a round of applause greeting Broderick and Parker’s every entrance.

Until April 13

Originally published by Westminster Extra