The Idaho rtee Press It The News-Tribune, Saturday, January 25,1975--8-12 Hollywood-bound Neil Simon bids Broadway calm goodbye By Ellic Grossman NEW Y O R K - ( N E A ) - G o ahead. Be nice to a playwright. Give him an unequalcd run of hits on Broadway -- one a year for 14 years. Laugh at his jokes, smile al his ingenuity, bask in his compassion for the human c o n d i t i o n . And w h a t is he doing? Selling his elegant townhouse in the East Sixties and moving wife, two daughters -- even his mother -- to California. That's gratitude for you. Neil Simon, of course, doesn't' see it that way. He doesn't feel he's abandoning the audience thai has come to rely on him for surcease from New York in particular, and life in general. He needs some surcease himself. "After fourteen years and fourteen plays," he says. "1 get the feeling I'm doing the same thing with my life." W r i t i n g basically for the same audience and tlie same critics. Worrying about their reactions. And finding it increasingly difficult, after 14 years, to "tliink of unexplored areas" to write about for the stage. "1 w o u l d n ' t w a n t to go through it again for anything next year." he says. So it's off to movieland, to write for larger, younger audiences; to work with his wife, actress Marsha Mason ( 'The screenplay after next will be for her. called 'Clark Gable Slept Here' "); and to "live in a warmer climate. A safer one? N'o." he says firmly in his mild way. "there is no such thing." That's it. That's why it's difficult to accept this pleasant, unassuming, moonfaced man -as the life behind characters who honk neurotically and explode with life's exasperations. He seems able too confront reality and come away intact. No nervous tics. No hysteria. Hardly the creator of a Felix Linger or a Joe Benjamin, the main character Â· in Simon's latest, and possibly last, play, "God's Favorite." Joe is Simon's version of Job, a millionaire manufacturer who refuses to renounce God and gets hit wilh everything: bursitis, gout, tennis elbow and the usual flood, famine and havoc. "What did I mean by the play? U took me a whole play.to say it." Simon smiles. "In a way, I become everybody when I write a play, so I was (he leading character who put up with everything because of his faith in God. I was the wife who wanted him to give up. I was God's messenger who just wanted to get his job done. We all go through some of those attitudes. "But I meant, I think, exactly what Walter Kerr said in his review: that sometimes you h a v e t o p o i n t u p h o w preposterous things are when FRIDAY'S TV ) Ch. 2 KICI(CIS) 6 Â«:30 7 7i30 8 8:30 9 liÂ« 10 10:30 11 11:30 1J 15:30 1 Truth or Conequencii FÂ«mily Alldir Thp Cat in Ihe Hat The LilJIe Mermaid The Smithsonian Series CBS Reporh Eyewitness News CBS Late Movie Morning Headlines Ch. 4 KAID(PiS) Electric Company Stalehouse Report AviJlian Weather Feed Forward Wathington week ' Wall Street Week Masterpiece Theatre Kup-'i Show Ch. 6 KITC(AIC) High Chaparral The Night stalker Hofl Baltimore Karen Baretta Combat Friday Nighl Movie Ch. 7 KTVB(NIC) To Tell Ihe Truth Lei's Make a Deal Sanlord and Son Chico Yht Man The Rocklord Files Police Woman Ncwi teat 7 Tonight Show Mid nig hi Special Program Highlights FRIDAY 7:'JC '.Â·} TIIK CAT IN THE H A T -- A n i m a t e d spcciiil a b o u t two youngsters, housebound on a rainy clay, ivliose boredom is shattered by Â» visit from the magical, mischievous Cat a lid his helpmates, Thing One and Thing Two. 7:00 (6) KOLCHAK : THE NIGHT STALKED - "The Trcvi Collection" Kolchak infiltrates (he world of high fashion, as he tries to expose a coven of witches and practitioners of Hie black arts. 7:00 (71 SANFOKD SON-"The Masquerade Party" Fred, dressed as a gorilla apd Grady, dressed as a ballerina, participate in a television game show. 7:30 (2) THE LITTLE M K H AMID--Animated special based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale about a b e a u t i f u l sea crcalure in search of a soul, 7:30 U)-FEED-FORWi\KD-- "Land Use: Values Old and New" This is the first of five programs on land use. 8:00 2 THE SMITHSONIAN' SEHlES-"Flight" Through the eyes of four high school boys who devote all their spare lime to restoring vintage airplanes, the fun and excitement of mankind's age-old romance w i t h flight u n f o l d s , from the early balloon and biplane pioneers to landing on the moon. Â«:00 (71 THE IIOCKKOKD l-'ILES-Rockford does a favor for a former fiancee and promptly is plunged into a lug-of-war between police, headed by Capt. Highland, and the u n d e r w o r l d , in "Claire." 8:00 (4) WALL STKEKT W E E K Slock m a r k e t authority and host Louis Kukcyscr and a panel of economic experts examine m a r k e t a c t i v i t y , answer viewer questions, assess economic trends and quiz Â· -guestsfrom the financial and business community. 10:00 (4) KUP'S SlfOW-Tlus is a timely talk show taped in C h i c a g o . P o 1 i I i c a 1 dignitaries, leading scientists, corporate deads, educators and nearly every c e l e b r i t y in t h e cn- l e r t a i m n c n t w o r l d a r e numbered as guests. 10:30 (7) THE T O N I G H T SHOW--George Gobcl is one of McLean Stevenson's guests. !2:00 ( 7 ) T H E M I D N I G H T SPECIAL - Helen Keddy will host the second anniversary program. Miss Kcddy hoslcd Ihe first "special"...also the first anniversary show last year. Appearing on the show will be film clips of artists who made stand-out appearances the past two years. 10:35 (21 CBS LATE M O V I E -"The Patsy" starring Jerry Lewis, Kcnnan Wynn, Peter Lorre. From bellboy to . recording star--a y o u n g man is coerced into making thai over'n'iglit change'in'his life. we take them so seriously." A thoughtful, family man who wears glasses and speaks with a New York accent, Simon likes to skelch and do water colors ("I love to do scenes of old New York buildings"), likes to read biographies because "the lives of people -- Joey Gallo and T r u m a n , lor i n s t a n c e -fascinate me," likes lo watch sports and old movies on television ("More care goes into the making of a movie so it's more satisfying than a situtation comedy"), and loves to write. "I like being able to go upstairs to my study and spend four or five hours working: I never find it a lonely business like some writers. But then he spent 10 years c o l l a b o r a t i n g w i t h o t h e r writers on television shows, so the isolation is understandably gratifying. So is the polishing. He's a craftsman who only stops rewriting because he has to. "When I go into rehearsal with a script," he says, "it's sixty per cent of what will get on the stage. You can't rewrite forever, and a play's finished because it's opened. I know from past experience that it's never going to be right. Occasionally, Simon speaks at colleges ("The word 'lecture' frightens me," he says, cringing. "It's just question and answer periods"), and what he passes on to young playwrights is basically the lay of the land. "I tell them about Ihe pitfalls and the joys. Those who want it badly enough will push aside the pitfalls. I was discouraged a great deal in the beginning by the business," he says. "But my older brother Danny's encouragement was enormous. He told me I had talent so often that I gradually believed it. And when I started having some success, I said well, there's something to work with." Another truth suddenly comes to mind. "You know," he says, "(here are a lot of people who don't really want things. I don't mean success or material things. Ilelationships, or health, for example. If you want to be healthy, you will be." The opportunities, despite what anybody says, are always there. "Nothing comes your way," he says. "It goes by and you have to reach out and grab il." N E I L S I M O N : O p p o r - tunities arc up for grabs. MEN-WOMEN High School Graduates wanted for important jobs in: Elec'.'onic sys'ems tepa.r Accounling Iti'.v Enfo'ce.mem Food service Aircraft Repair Medicine. Deruiv.'y. Pharmacology Surveying Helicop'er repair Power generation Radar Specialized mechanics CansUuclion Communications Me'earo'ogy Parachuie rigging Radio code If yaj qualify, you can choose iro-ning in these specialities, or more than 300 o'ket cHa'lenaing jobs. And, of cauise, you'11 be paid whiie you 'earn. Call Army Opportunities 467-4441 Join the people who've joined the Army. An Eqjal Opportune Employ a- M O V I E R A T I N G G U I D E For Parents and Young People The objective al the ratings K to inform parents about the suitability of movie content fur viewing by rficif children. rp^l ALL AGES ADMITTED IJ General Audiences PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Pre-Tecnageis RESTRICTED Under 17 requiies accompanying Patent or Adull Guardian NO ONE UNDER 17 ADMITTED (Age limil may vary in certain areas! ' ALL' gj' SS ANDÂ® FILMS RECEIVE THISSEALÂ® Qf THE MOTION PICTURE ASSQC1 ATinu OF AMERICA.
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