A down-on-his-luck schlub tries to get by while walking a tightrope between sanity and craziness, all while we laugh at his slowly crumbling life. Oh, the hilarity! This pretty much sums up all of Neil Simon’s plays. But that doesn’t mean the story isn’t funny or clever. And it doesn’t mean you can’t imagine Jack Lemmon playing the schlub. Either way, Mel Edison, the particular schlub in Simon’s The Prisoner of Second Avenue, must deal with middle age, unemployment, noisy neighbors, and a hot-as-balls heat wave ravaging New York City. Meanwhile, a prolonged sanitation department strike has the city smelling like hot garbage, his apartment gets robbed, and his psychiatrist unexpectedly dies with a crapload of Mel’s money in his possession. Presented by Stage Door Theatre, The Prisoner of Second Avenue opens Friday at the Byron Carlyle Theater. It’s a dark comedy about a bittersweet life and how we can all point and laugh at the poor schlub who isn’t us.
Fridays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: Nov. 11. Continues through Nov. 27, 2011