MONTEREY - The Monterey Peninsula College Theatre Arts Department presents Neil Simon's hilarious comedy, CHAPTER TWO. Performances are Thursday at 7:00 PM, Friday & Saturday at 8:00 PM, and Sunday at 2:00 PM, OCT 15 – 25 on the Morgan Stock Stage, on the Monterey Peninsula College campus. MPC is located at 980 Fremont Street, downtown Monterey.
CHAPTER TWO is directed by Theatre Arts Department co-chair Peter DeBono.
CHAPTER TWO marks the twelfth Neil Simon show produced by MPC Theatre Company, including Plaza Suite, Star Spangled Girl, The Sunshine Boys, The Odd Couple, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Lost in Yonkers, and the highly popular Eugene Trilogy (Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues & Broadway Bound). This is sure to be another very enjoyable production featuring the familiar peninsula faces of James Brady, Kristin Brownstone, Gracie Poletti, and MPC Theatre professor, director, and Department co-chair Gary Bolen in the leading role of George Schneider.
About CHAPTER TWO:
This semi-autobiographical Neil Simon's comedy, based on his relationship with actress Marsha Mason, mixes laughter with heartache. Widower George Schneider (Gary Bolen) is encouraged by his younger brother Leo (James Brady) to begin dating and get on with life. Leo sets George up with numerous unwanted and hilariously unsuccessful dates. Until, Leo and his girlfriend Faye (Gracie Poletti), introduce George to her best friend, the recently divorced soap opera actress Jennie Malone (Kristin Brownstone). When the two hit it off, these not so young lovers must each learn to overcome their own emotional fears & trepidation, and try to face a new life together.
About Peter DeBono
Peter DeBono, Co-Chair of the MPC Drama Department, received his Master's Degree from UCLA and made a living in the LA area as an actor, before returning to the MPC Drama Department. In 1982, he became Chairman of the department, succeeding founding Chairman Morgan Stock. Some of Peter's 149 directing credits include Amadeus, The Miracle Worker, Front Page, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Death of a Salesman. Peter has also directed both The King and I and I'm Not Rappaport at the Western Stage in Salinas. One of Professor DeBono's areas of expertise is the work of playwright Neil Simon. He has directed many of the author's plays, including Laughter on the 23rd Floor, several versions of The Odd Couple, the highly popular Eugene Trilogy: Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, and Broadway Bound. Most recently Peter helmed last season's MPC production of Plaza Suite, and CHAPTER TWO will mark his 149th directorial achievement. Peter came to MPC in 1963 as a student of Morgan Stock. He then moved to Los Angeles, attended UCLA and went on acting in movies and on television, until a telephone call from Morgan changed his life forever.
"I agreed to come back to Monterey and stand in for Morgan when he took a sabbatical in '71," Peter recalls. "When he returned, he suggested that I stay on for a while. I've been here ever since."
About Neil Simon
Neil Simon is an American playwright and screenwriter, and one of the most reliable hit-makers in Broadway history, as well as one of the most performed playwrights in the world. From the mid- Sixties to the mid-Eighties, Simon's name became synonymous in theatre with popular and financial success, much like Spielberg's would later do to film. Though primarily a comic writer, some of his plays, particularly the Eugene Trilogy and The Sunshine Boys, reflect on the 20th century Jewish-American experience. Simon briefly attended NYU in 1946. Two years later, he quit his job as a mailroom clerk in the Warner Brothers offices in Manhattan to write radio and television scripts with his brother Danny Simon. Their revues for Camp Tamiment in Pennsylvania in the early 1950s caught the attention of Sid Caesar, who hired the duo for his popular TV comedy series Your Show of Shows. His work won him two Emmy Award nominations and the appreciation of Phil Silvers, who hired him to write for his eponymous sitcom in 1959.
In 1961, Simon's first Broadway play, Come Blow Your Horn, opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where it ran for 678 performances. Six weeks after its closing, his second production, the musical Little Me (starring former boss Caesar), opened to mixed reviews. Although it failed to attract a large audience, it earned Simon his first Tony Award nomination. Overall, he has garnered seventeen Tony nominations and won three. He has also won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize in drama for Lost in Yonkers.
In 1966 Simon had four shows running on Broadway at the same time: Sweet Charity, Star Spangled Girl, The Odd Couple, and Barefoot in the Park. His prolific output includes light comedies (Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple), darker, more autobiographical works (Chapter Two, the Eugene Trilogy comprised of Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound) and books for musical comedies (Sweet Charity, Promises, Promises).
He has also written screenplays for over 20 films. These include adaptations of his own plays as well as original work, including The Out-of-Towners, Murder by Death and The Goodbye Girl. He has received four Best Screenplay Academy Award nominations.
He is the namesake of the former Alvin Theatre, (now the Neil Simon Theatre) a legitimate Broadway theater, and an honorary member of the Walnut Street Theatre's board of trustees.
CHAPTER TWO plays 7:00 PM Thursday (OCT 15 & 22); 8:00 PM Friday & Saturday (OCT 16, 17, 23, & 24); and 2:00 PM Sunday (OCT 18 & 25). Advance Tickets are $18; $15 if purchased online; Day of show tickets are $25 General Admission, $20 Senior, $15 Young Adult (16-25), and $10 for children age 15 & under. Tickets may be purchased from the MPC Box Office (831-646-4213) Weds-Friday 3:00 – 7:00 PM & 2 hrs prior to performance, or online at www.TicketGuys.com .