Neil “Doc” Simon is back in his permanent home in New York today and readying on yet another display of his versatile re-creation of his priceless prior prose. This time it’s a two-part current look and musical version of the 1968 Bacharach/David tuner “Promises, Promises.”
The Bronx-born, Broadway-bred Simon and his beautiful wife Elaine Joyce have just wound an L.A. visit with Elaine’s grandchild, Julia Meyer, daughter of Taylor and Evan Meyer. On their final night (Saturday) in L.A. the Simons supped on The Grill on the Alley and were exuberant in talking to us about the full plate of projects bearing down on them.
Simon celebrated his 82nd birthday, July 4, and looked terrific as he bounded from his table to greet us at The Grill Saturday night. He carried the conversation about his prose to come. Already set in type are two revivals — “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Broadway Bound” to play at the Nederlander beginning Oct. 25/Dec. 10 alternating in repertoire.
But the big news is the planned, official, B’way revival of “Promises, Promises” — the 1968 Bacharach/David musical for which Simon wrote the book. Simon’s wife Elaine was as excited about the project as husband Neil and said it looks like Sean Hayes (“Will and Grace”) will star as Chuck Baxter. He had played the lead in a private reading of the project with Anne Hathaway and producers are now looking for Zooey Deschanel (“500 Days of Summer”) to co-star.
The original “Promises, Promises” film by Billy Wilder was a multi-Oscar winner. The anticipation for the Neil Simon plethora of projects has Broadwayites in a continuing state of excitement following up on the record-setting legit marks of the past year. And the name Simon just adds to even more legit anticipation.