Sarah Jessica Parker Broadway play is frothy fun

You’ll be able to’t get extra Manhattan than Sarah Jessica Parker within the Plaza Resort. 

The 2 New York Metropolis icons are thrown collectively within the lighter-than-air revival of Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite” that opened Monday night time on the Hudson Theater on Broadway. 

It’s a match made at Bergdorf’s. 

Co-starring Parker’s husband Matthew Broderick, the Sixties-set comedy is an old style affair to make certain, however a glowing one. “Intercourse and the Metropolis” followers will definitely get pleasure from it greater than HBO’s weirdly woke and clunky “And Simply Like That.” And, for everyone else, Simon’s middle-drawer play is a soothing trip from our overly severe theater season. 

Theater evaluation

Operating time: 2 and a half hours with one intermission. On the Hudson Theater, 141 West forty fourth Avenue.

Parker and Broderick play a trio of {couples} over three acts (the comedy is a protracted one for contemporary consideration spans): A distant husband and spouse rejoice their twenty third anniversary; a New Jersey housewife secretly reunites along with her highschool beau who’s turn into a big-time Hollywood producer; and a long-married pair spar whereas their daughter has locked herself within the lavatory, refusing to get married. The antics all go down in Suite 719 of the Plaza.

The deep first part matches most snugly on these two actors, who’ve been married for 25 years. Whereas the spouse, Karen, clamors to stage the proper romantic anniversary on the fabulous lodge (John Lee Beatty’s set is richly detailed), Sam obsesses over his work and solely half-listens to her. Between Broderick’s well-timed zingers, insecurities are revealed and humor conceals despair. That is the present’s excessive level, and lingers until the very finish.

Within the first act of “Plaza Suite,” a husband (Matthew Broderick) and spouse (Sarah Jessica Parker) attempt to reignite the spark of their marriage.
Joan Marcus
Jesse (Matthew Broderick) and Muriel (Sarah Jessica Parker) tiptoe round hooking up.
Joan Marcus

The following half has the least going for it, however serves as one thing of a halftime present. Broderick’s Jesse, dressed like Austin Powers, serves Muriel vodka stingers whereas they tiptoe round hooking up. He’s enamored along with her as a result of she’s regular and healthful, however she simply needs to hobnob together with his wealthy and well-known mates.

Parker, maybe from signing too many autographs within the West Village, has a robust grasp on Muriel’s bridge-and-tunnel perkiness. And Broderick, whereas not as expert with transformation as his spouse, channels a younger Peter Bogdanovich (so, a bit creepy, however that’s partly the purpose).

The ultimate act is probably the most broadly comedian of the play. Roy and Norma angrily attempt to pry their daughter out of the toilet on her marriage ceremony day. Nuptials on the Plaza ain’t low cost. Insults are slung, accidents are endured. Roy, who furiously counts each greenback being spent, is Broderick’s most acceptable pairing. The actor may be quite stiff — lately he’s just about was Leo Bloom from “The Producers” — and his staccato formality works effectively right here. To Broderick’s credit score, he additionally lets free greater than he has in ages. 

Norma (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Roy (Matthew Broderick) force their reluctant daughter to get married.
Norma (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Roy (Matthew Broderick) pressure their reluctant daughter to get married.
Joan Marcus

On the entire, director John Benjamin Hickey’s manufacturing may very well be funnier in spots. The ultimate act doesn’t go as madcap as it would. And whereas there was a sense on Broadway that they have been miscast — Maureen Stapleton and the extra macho Walter Matthau have been earlier variations — there’s a tenderness to the married new stars that attracts you in. And when Parker is let down by her husband within the first act, she brings us proper again to Carrie Bradshaw being stood up by her mates at Il Cantinori on her thirty fifth birthday. Your coronary heart leaps out to her time and again.

The same old suspects will stick their noses up at “Plaza Suite” — it’s outdated, it has no relevance as we speak, blah blah blah — however there may be nothing mistaken with some good ol’ opulence, one-liners and star energy. Every thing on Broadway needn’t be a brooding hipster musical with acoustic guitars and Edison bulbs.

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