Pin It
Favorite

Closing the Cycle 

Broadway Bound concludes Neil Simon's 'Eugene' trilogy and marks the end of Michael Weaver's time at Interplayers

click to enlarge Nich Witham (left) plays Eugene Jerome in Broadway Bound, alongside Jerry Sciarrio (center) and Dalin Tipton. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • Nich Witham (left) plays Eugene Jerome in Broadway Bound, alongside Jerry Sciarrio (center) and Dalin Tipton.

By kicking off its current season with Broadway Bound from Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical "Eugene" cycle, Interplayers is drawing overt parallels to the way the theater opened its previous season.

Broadway Bound is the third and final play of Simon's dramatic trilogy, and will revisit the exact same apartment set — albeit more than a decade on — that audiences saw last year in Brighton Beach Memoirs. Nich Witham, who played Eugene in Brighton Beach, will reprise his more mature character in Broadway Bound. So will Samantha Camp, who plays his long-suffering mother Kate.

Director Michael Weaver says it's "not unusual" for theaters to skip Biloxi Blues, the second play in the series, as Interplayers has.

"Biloxi Blues is about Eugene in the army and his run-ins with bigotry, and it really is parenthetical to the story of the family," says Weaver. "In a sense, Broadway Bound is the reverse of Brighton Beach. Brighton Beach is about opportunity and the bright future, and things that are out there that you can embrace and grab hold of and ride to a conclusion. Broadway Bound is about opportunities not grabbed, and it's about regret."

Although Broadway Bound's missed opportunities and "unraveling" of the Jerome family might not sound like the stuff of comedy, Weaver emphasizes that it's "hilariously funny" in a way that seems to elude more contemporary plays.

"The best comedies are always about something important and something serious," he says. "No, this isn't a door-slamming farce where people drop their pants and fall down, although doors get slammed and people do fall down. But if you look at the comedies of Alan Ayckbourn or Noël Coward and certainly Neil Simon, they're always about really serious, important issues, and their humor comes out of people either masking that pain or delving into it."

For Weaver, this play has special significance. Having worked at Interplayers in ever-expanding capacities from 1986 until 2003, he's recently resigned from the full-time position as associate artistic director that he took up in 2013. This makes Broadway Bound the last work he'll direct before leaving.

"Eugene has a line at the end of the show," says Weaver. "He and Stanley finally move out at the end of the play — that's not giving anything away — [and] Eugene walks around the house in silence as he's leaving. He looks around and he says, 'I knew this would never be my home again.' That has a lot of resonance for me." ♦

Broadway Bound • Through Sept. 20: Wed-Sat, 7:30 pm; Sat-Sun, 2 pm • $28-$30 ($22 senior/military, $12 student) • Interplayers • 174 S. Howard • 455-7529 • interplayerstheatre.org

  • Pin It

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • Variations of Zuill
  • Variations of Zuill

    Badass cellist. Musical missionary. Grammy winner. Zuill Bailey redefines Bach for the 21st century
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • Backstage Story
  • Backstage Story

    Behind the preparation and precaution: Why it practically takes a village to put on a Cirque du Soleil show
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • The Genius of Bach
  • The Genius of Bach

    His lasting influence, and a look at this year's Bach Festival schedule
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • More »

Comments


Comments are closed.

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Visualizing Science

Visualizing Science @ Prichard Art Gallery

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through April 15

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by E.J. Iannelli

  • Backstage Story
  • Backstage Story

    Behind the preparation and precaution: Why it practically takes a village to put on a Cirque du Soleil show
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • Mortality Tale
  • Mortality Tale

    Author Tim O'Brien on writing, war, dying, Hemingway and his seminal work The Things They Carried
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Inner Conflicts
  • Inner Conflicts

    Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced steps into the bramble of race and identity, exposing complexity and contradictions
    • Jan 26, 2017
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Partisan Pagans

    The political divide is even splintering Spokane's witches
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Finding the Words

    The sounds of 8,000 people taking to the streets of Spokane
    • Jan 26, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation