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Arts & Entertainment Licklog Players open season with Neil Simon play ‘Prisoner of 2nd Avenue’

Fans who like Neil Simon plays will enjoy the Licklog Players’ season opener, Prisoner of 2nd Avenue, to be staged April 8 at the Peacock Playhouse in Hayesville.

During its two-year run on Broadway, the comedy packed houses during 678 performances, and took away a Tony Award for Best Show. Simon’s box office appeal has made his plays among the most regularly performed in the world.

Audiences will remember past Licklog productions of the award-winning playwright, including “Barefoot in the Park,” “Plaza Suite,” “Rumors,” “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” and “The Odd Couple.”

“I love doing Neil Simon scripts,” said Laurel Adams who will direct the two-act comedy. “They are beautifully crafted, relationship- wise, and the humor is deft without being heavy-handed. He’s right there alongside Noel Coward as far as I’m concerned.”

The show began rehearsals last week with an enthusiastic cast of six, including David Layfield, Janice Minette, Tom Payne, Lynne Joynes, Chelsea Smith and Kate Scroggs.

Seasoned actor Tom Payne, who has played in two Simon productions, echoes Adams’ feelings about the gifted dramatist.

“Neil Simon is one of the best-known playwrights, and certainly one of my favorites,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed each and every production of his that I’ve appeared in. I especially like the humor he brings to the everyday situations we all experience in life.”

“Prisoner on 2nd Avenue” is a fine example of Simon’s understanding of problems ordinary Americans face in everyday life. While this play is set in the early 1970s, the scenario, alarmingly, is as true today as it was then.

Mel and Edna Edison are a middle-aged, middle-class couple living in a New York City high-rise. Mel loses his job, the apartment is robbed, Edna gets a job then loses it, Mel loses his mind. It all happens amidst minor irritations like noisy neighbors and intrusive relatives. But rather than surrender, they thumb their noses defiantly and dig trenches for battle. Simon’s clever, wellplaced humor makes this modern-day satire very entertaining.

Show dates for “Prisoner on 2ndAvenue” are April 8, 9, 10 and April 15, 16, 17. Ticket prices are Adults $13, Students and Children $8. Rated PG. For further information, telephone (828)389-8632 or toll free 1-877-691-9906.


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