One of the most prolific American playwrights of our time, Neil Simon, died August 26th of complications from pneumonia. He left behind more than 30 plays and an indelible impression on popular culture. Mr. Simon's work was nominated for numerous Tony awards and won many of them. He personally won four: Best Play for The Odd Couple, for Biloxi Blues, and for Lost in Yonkers, and a special Tony Award recognizing his sum of work for the American theatre. Lost in Yonkers also won Neil Simon a Pulitzer Prize. In 1966, he had four Broadway hits playing simultaneously—Sweet Charity, The Star-Spangled Girl, The Odd Couple, and Barefoot in the Park. In 1983, he became the first living playwright to have a theatre named for him in New York City. Mr. Simon died in New York. He was 91 years old.
Around town, The Wichita Shakespeare Company is ending its season with a production of Timon of Athens, the story of a man who gives away his fortune to friends, only to see them turn their backs on him when his generosity results in his sudden descent into poverty. Likening the production to “The Little Red Hen” and the biblical story of Job, WSC hopes the play will resonate with modern audiences as a fable for our time. Performances are in city parks, Friday through Sunday to September 23rd; check the Wichita Shakespeare Company website for park locations and times, and don't forget to bring a blanket or lawn chairs to watch the play in comfort.