‘Plaza Suite’ Makes For An Enjoyable Evening

The timeless humor of Neil Simon is once more on stage at the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown, in their present production of his ”Plaza Suite.”

The show is made up of three short plays, which all take place – at different times – in the same room in the luxurious and expensive Plaza Hotel in New York City, during the 1960s.

In the first act, Marsha Cheney and Rudi Andalora play a wealthy suburban couple who need to temporarily flee their posh home because they are in the process of having it repainted. It’s their wedding anniversary, and she has booked the same room where they spent their honeymoon. He’s pretty sure it’s not the same room. And, it all unwinds from there.

In the second act, Wayne Hutton portrays a man who has become a successful Hollywood producer. He’s had three wives and all of his marriages have ended up in disaster, so he has invited his high school girlfriend to come to his hotel suite to see if he can’t rekindle the non-Hollywood love he once knew. Paulette Muzacz is the now-grown girlfriend who now has a husband and three children.

The three little words she wanted in high school no longer ring any chimes, but when he says ”dinner with Sinatra,” things get a bit livelier.

The final act involves a couple performed by Betsy Trusel and Carl Liuzzo. They are staying at the Plaza because their recent college graduate daughter is about to marry her handsome fiancee in one of the hotel’s party rooms. The trouble is, she’s locked herself in the bathroom and she won’t come out.

As the couple ranges from threats, to promises, to a recitation of the thousands of dollars which have been invested in the unfinished event, they begin to re-evaluate all that marriage has meant to them. Mary Smith and Vince Liuzzo portray the young bride and groom.

It’s a light, enjoyable evening, and yet, Simon never fails to write about a serious situation, seen through a veil of humor. There’s meat under all the laughs.

The cast is attractive and appropriate for their roles. I haven’t yet named John Linza as the hotel’s bellhop, and Frank Witgen as a room service waiter.

Director Anne Eklund knows her business, and manages to incorporate some way-out events and make them seem believable and real. Opening night, there was still a feeling of delay, but I’m sure things will tighten up in very short order.

”Plaza Suite” continues tonight, Sunday and March 28, 29, and 30 on the stage of the theater at 18 E. Second Street, in downtown Jamestown.