Tokyo Players bring N.Y. comedy to town


The dearth of good comedy in English in Tokyo will be relieved in a few weeks’ time, when Tokyo International Players — a 100-percent volunteer-run company that has been entertaining theatergoers since 1896 — will present “The Plaza Suite” at Akasaka V Theater. And The Japan Times has a pair of tickets to give away to each of two lucky readers.

“The Plaza Suite” is about three different couples, and the story revolves around suite 719 in New York’s Plaza Hotel — the 19-story iconic hotel that set the standard in luxury when it opened more than 100 years ago. Playwright Neil Simon’s trademark humor and insight into human relationships clearly comes through in the play.

The first story is about a married couple, Sam and Karen Nash, who have come back to their honeymoon suite in an attempt to revive their failing marriage. Meanwhile, ex-movie producer and ladies’ man Jesse has invited his former high- school sweetheart Muriel to suite 719 on the pretense of catching up on old times. The last and perhaps most slapstick vignette is about a bride who has locked herself in the bathroom and has to be persuaded out by her parents before the guests and groom find out that she has got cold feet.

Director Bob Werley’s fresh approach to this production is to make it look as if the play is a sitcom being filmed in front of a studio audience — the theater audience. Actors will come off the set and “stay in the studio,” and the play will be “filmed” by mock studio cameras.

Performances take place on Feb. 29 (7.30 p.m.), March 1 (2 and 7.30 p.m.) and March 2 (2 p.m.). Akasaka V Theater is a 3-minute walk from Akasaka Station on the Chiyoda Line. Tickets are ¥4,000 for adults and ¥2,500 for students and children. For more information and bookings, go to www.tokyoplayers.org.

To apply to win one of the two pairs of tickets to the performance of your choice, send a postcard stating your name, address, telephone number, age, a comment on The Japan Times, and the performance you wish to see to: Gakugei-bu, The Japan Times, 4-5-4 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023.

You can also apply through our Web site at www.japantimes.co.jp/sales/ giveaways.htm. When you apply through the Web, use the password “comedy.”

The deadline is Feb. 22. For information, call (03) 3452-3599.