Dreyfuss & Mason Reunite on Second AvenueDate: 19 January 1999
Next month sees the first professional British production of Neil Simon's 1971 comedy The Prisoner of Second Avenue. The production reunites American screen actors Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason, who starred in the film version of Simon's The Goodbye Girl. The Prisoner of Second Avenue opens at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford, Surrey, on Tuesday 2 February before a regional tour and expected transfer to the West End sometime this spring.
The comedy tells the story of Mel Edison who suffers a nervous breakdown due to the combined pressures of losing his job and living in New York City.
Dreyfuss (Mel), then aged 29, became the youngest actor to win an Academy Award for his performance in The Goodbye Girl. His film career, spanning three decades, also includes Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Down and Out in Beverley Hills and Mr Holland's Opus. His stage credits include the Broadway production of Death and the Maiden with Glenn Close and Gene Hackman and, most recently, House with Marsha Mason (Sag Harbour). In 1994, he directed Hamlet for the Birmingham Rep.
Mason (Mel's wife Edna) began her career in New York, on and off Broadway. Her theatre credits include Night of the Iguana, Lake No Bottom, Kurt Vonnegut's Happy Birthday Wanda June, Neil Simon's The Good Doctor and Harold Pinter's Old Times. Her film credits include The Goodbye Girl (for which she received a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination), Promises in the Dark, Chapter Two (Academy Award nomination) and Only When I Laugh (Academy Award nomination).
Neil Simon's many plays and films include Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, California Suite, Chapter Two, They're Playing Our Song, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues (1994 Tony Award), Lost in Yonkers (1991 Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award), Seems Like Old Times and Only When I Laugh.
The Prisoner of Second Avenue is produced by Duncan C Weldon in the UK. It will tour to Oxford, Coventry, Richmond and Malvern.