(Patrick Healy's article ran in The New York Times,  11/1/90) 

Neil Simon Flop May Be a Case of the Missing ‘Wow’

Neil Simon was the crossover comedy king of Broadway and Hollywood for three decades, beginning when “Barefoot in the Park” and three other major shows overlapped in New York in the 1960s.

But comedy is changing on Broadway, and on Sunday one of Mr. Simon’s most-produced plays in the last 25 years, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” became one of the biggest commercial flops on Broadway in recent memory. It closed a week after it opened, shocking many in the theater world, not least the writer himself.

“I’m dumbfounded,” Mr. Simon, 82, who has won a Pulitzer and three Tony Awards, said in an interview. “After all these years, I still don’t get how Broadway works or what to make of our culture.”

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