Set in a time of social and financial upheaval, Neil Simon’s black comedy The Prisoner of 2nd Avenue is coming to the UAE. The play centres on the lives of Mel and Edna Edison, who have been thrust into the storm of New York in the early 1970s, which is marked by crisis and crime. The show runs at The Junction at Alserkal Avenue from May 10-13.
The play is Simon’s statement about urban ills as well as his exploration of how the system’s failures can cause an erosion of humanity as each individual’s primary motive becomes survival.
Simon uses both verbal and situational humour to express Mel’s bitter response to his situation — job loss — as well as its absurdity.
“The best American black comedy I have ever read and directed,” says director Jasmin Neuschaefer of this production. “The humour is just so hilarious, that when you hear the dialogues between the characters, you can definitely put yourself in that specific situation and say, ‘Yes, that’s so true.”
The Prisoner of 2nd Avenue premiered on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre on November 11, 1971, and closed on September 29, 1973, after 798 performances and four previews. Tickets cost Dh100.