Three plays in one with "Plaza Suite"
With “Plaza Suite,” it’s almost like getting three Neil Simon plays in one as each of the three acts tells a different story, all taking place in room 719 in New York City’s famed Plaza Hotel. Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre’s opening night of “Plaza Suite” on Valentine’s Day also marks the 40th anniversary of the play’s Broadway opening at the Plymouth Theatre under the direction of Mike Nichols. This production, however, is giving three new directors a chance at the helm as Joe Nagle, Jane Winkler and Ben Schneider each take one of the stories. Act I, directed by Nagle, “Visitor from Mamaroneck,” tells of a wistful housewife (Cynthia Pinchback-Hines) staking her claim to Suite 719 in hopes of rekindling her flagging marriage (to Carlos Baxley). “She’s very much into having a romantic interlude but he is distracted by his business affairs,” Nagle said. Schneider’s Act II is subtitled “Visitor from Hollywood,” in which a famous Hollywood producer (Rhys Richards) returns to the city and invites his high school sweetheart (Becky Tompkins) to a Plaza rendezvous. Will the wide-eyed suburbanite succumb to his advances or will cooler heads prevail? Act III is “Visitor from Forest Hills,” under Winkler’s direction, centers on a reluctant bride who has locked herself into the bathroom. “The mother and father (Andrew Stern and Dianne Minnick, both making their GHCT debuts) spend most of the show arguing with the bathroom door,” Winkler said. “The bride is afraid that she’ll end up like them, arguing all the time.” The cast also includes Scott Christian, Dick Gentry, Amanda Toth and Jennifer Hartung.