Mix up the television show 30 Rock and Mad Men and you will get Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Sounds like a modern hit, right? Well actually this play took play years before the current actors in the television show were making people laugh, it is set in the comedy variety show circa 1950s. Loosely based on Neil Simon’s work on his work with the legendary Sid Caesar it is a bumpy ride working on writing funny material. What is going on behind the scenes is crazier than any real script and that is what you have.
In the play, Lucas Brickman (Paul Gourdeau) is the impromptu narrator who allows you to peek inside this mayhem. Max Prince (Zip Rampy) is the star and paranoid comic, he is worried that not only are the suits upstairs and the communist will ruin his show, he has his own self doubts. The 23 floor in the titled is said to have come to the places where Simon spent most of his time the 11th and 12th floor.
This Next Stage Theatre Company production is funny, fast pace, and a real hoot. Directed by Rob Roy Hardie and staged on the intimate Alley Stage, Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor is a throw back to an era when the biggest concern on television was not to make a state but make people laugh and I am sure you will get lots of that.
Laughter on the 23rd Floor is rated PG-13 due to strong adult language and runs through February 23. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students/seniors.
Next Stage Theatre Company is located at The Alley Stage off of the Marietta Square (11 Anderson Street, Marietta, GA 30064). For more information and tickets, call 678.744.6398 or visit: www.nextstagetheatrecompany.com
A bonus treat this week: Are you looking for something to do on Wednesday February 13th? Come to see “The Little Dog Laughed”. Tickets are only $15 but if you buy a ticket to “The Little Dog Laughed” and “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” you get a savings.