The complete memoirs of Neil Simon, the greatest—and most successful—American playwright of all time, the author of such iconic works as Lost in Yonkers, The Odd Couple, Biloxi Blues, and The Goodbye Girl, now with an insightful Introduction by Nathan Lane.

This omnibus edition combines Neil Simon’s two memoirs, Rewrites and The Play Goes On, into one volume that spans his extraordinary five-decade career in theater, television, and film. Rewrites takes Simon through his first love, his first play, and his first brush with failure. There is the humor of growing up in Washington Heights (the inspiration for his play Brighton Beach Memoirs) where, despite his parents’ rocky marriage and many separations, he learned to see the funny side of family drama, as when his mother thought she saw a body on the floor in their apartment—and it turned out to be the clothes his father discarded in the hallway after a night of carousing. He describes his marriage to his beloved wife, Joan, and writes lucidly about the pain of losing her to cancer. The Play Goes On adds to his life’s story, as he wins the Pulitzer Prize and reflects with humor and insight on his tumultuous life and meteoric career.

“Neil Simon’s terrific memoirs are worth revisiting” (New York Post). Now, with the whole story in one place, he traces the history of modern entertainment over the last fifty years as seen through the eyes of a man who started life the son of a garment salesman and became the greatest—and most successful—American playwright of all time.
Ten essential plays by Neil Simon, one of the world’s most celebrated, translated, and widely performed playwrights.

Barefoot in the Park
Newlyweds move into a new apartment with no furniture, the wrong paint, leaking
skylight and wacky neighbors! A classic comedy! Performed by: Norman Aronovic, Laura Linney, J. Fred Shiffman, Judy Simmons and Eric Stoltz.

The Odd Couple
Two legendarily mismatched roommates bring down the house in this classic comedy by America’s most successful playwright. Performed by: Dan Castellaneta, Stanley DeSantis, Steven Hack, Jamie Hanes, Nathan Lane, David Paymer, Linda Purl and Yeardley Smith

Plaza Suite
Neil Simon’s hilarious comedy follows three brief encounters in the same suite at the famed Plaza Hotel in New York City. Performed by: Edward Asner, Michelle Costa, Richard Dreyfuss, Hector Elizondo, Amy Irving, Marsha Mason, Alfred Molina, Kerry Shale, Joe Spano and JoBeth Williams.

The Prisoner of Second Avenue
Fast-moving dialog with nonstop Simon quips and jokes performed extremely well by two fine actors: who could ask for more? Performed by: Annie Abbott, Lorin Dreyfuss, Richard Dreyfuss, Betty Garrett, Sharon Madden and Marsha Mason.

California Suite
A four part comedy confection as only Neil Simon can write it! Four couples separately inhabit the same Beverly Hills hotel suite, bringing along their problems, anxieties, and comical marital dilemmas. Performed by: Dennis Boutsikaris, Bruce Davison, Marsha Mason and Amy Pietz.

Chapter Two
Comedy and pathos mingle brilliantly in Neil Simon’s portrait of a widowed novelist who fears he’ll never love again. Performed by: David Dukes, Sharon Gless, Gates McFadden and Grant Shaud.

Brighton Beach Memoirs
In Neil Simon’s first installment of his darkly funny semiautobiographical Eugene Trilogy, we meet his family in 1930’s Brooklyn. Performed by: Max Casella, Peter Michael Goetz, Valerie Harper, Alexana Lambros, Anna Sophie Loewenberg, Jonathan
Silverman and Joyce Van Patten.

Biloxi Blues
The second hilarious installment of Neil Simon’s autobiographical trilogy follows a naïve Eugene Jerome through boot camp. Performed by: Justine Bateman, Rob Benedict, Joshua Biton, John Cabrera, Matthew Patrick Davis, Steve Rankin, Josh Radnor, Russell Soder and Darby Stanchfield

Broadway Bound
In the final installment of Neil Simon’s trilogy, Eugene and his brother Stanley pair up to break into the world of comedy writing. Performed by: Caroline Aaron, Dan Castellaneta, Kyle Colerider-Krugh, James Gleason, Alan Mandell, Jonathan Silverman, JoBeth Williams and Scott Wolf.

Lost in Yonkers
Set in Yonkers, New York in 1942, two boys, aged 13 and 16, must spend one year with their austere and demanding grandmother. Performed by: Barbara Bain, Gia Carides, Dan Castellaneta, Ben Diskin, Arye Gross, Roxanne Hart and Kenneth Schmidt.
Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, The Sunshine Boys -- Neil Simon's plays and movies have kept many millions of people laughing for almost four decades. Today he is recognized not only as the most successful American playwright of all time, but also as one of the greatest.

More than the humor, however, it is the humanity of Neil Simon's vision that has made him America's most beloved playwright and earned him such enduring success. Now, in Rewrites, he has written a funny, deeply touching memoir, filled with details and anecdotes of the writing life and rich with the personal experiences that underlie his work. What the listener of this warm, nostalgic memoir discovers, however, is that the plays, although grounded in Neil Simon's own experience, provide only a glimpse into the mind and soul of this very private man.

Since Come Blow Your Horn first opened on Broadway in 1960, few seasons have passed without the appearance of another of his laughter-filled plays, and indeed on numerous occasions two or more of his works have been running simultaneously. But his success was something Neil Simon never took for granted, nor was the talent to create laughter something that he ever treated carelessly: it took too long for him to achieve the kind of acceptance -- both popular and critical -- that he craved, and the path he followed frequently was pitted with hard decisions.

Some of the supporting players in the memoir include Sid Caesar, Jerry Lewis, Walter Matthau, Robert Redford, Gwen Verdon, Bob Fosse, George C. Scott, and Mike Nichols. But always at center stage is his first love, his wife Joan, whose death in the early seventies devastated him, and whose love and inspiration illuminate this remarkable and revealing self-portrait.

Rewrites is rich in laughter and emotion, and filled with the memories of a sometimes sweet, sometimes bittersweet life.
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