The Good Doctor (play)
"The Good Doctor" is a comedy with music written by
Neil Simon. "The Good Doctor" is set in Russiaduring the 19th century and written in the style of Chekhovian comedy. It is composed of a series of scenes in which the only connecting thread is the character of the Writer originally played by Christopher Plummer, who is obviously Anton Chekhov. Simon uses several direct references to Chekhov in the play: The writer's opening monologue quotes Trigorn, the writer in " The Seagull", directly and one of the scenes, "The Audition" centers around an untried actress auditioning for The Writer by playing all of The Three Sisters. "The Good Doctor" opened on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatreon November 27, 1973and closed on May 25, 1974after 208 performances and 8 previews. Directed by A. J. Antoon, it starred René Auberjonois, Barnard Hughes, Marsha Mason, Christopher Plummer, and Frances Sternhagen. Frances Sternhagen won the Tony Award, Best Featured Actress in a Play, and it received 4 additional Tony Award nominations: Best Original Score, Best Featured Actor in a Play (René Auberois), and Best Lighting remiDesign.
A revival was produced by The Melting Pot Theater, at the Theater of the Riverside Church,
New York City, from February 1998 through March 1, 1998, with Andre De Shields, Jane Connell, and Gordon Connell.
A television movie was made based on the play, with
Edward Asner, Richard Chamberlin, and Marsha Mason. It aired on U.S. Public Televisionin 1972 and again on November 8, 1978. [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0189562/ IMDB]
Simon met his second wife, Marsha Mason during auditions for this play.
"The Good Doctor" ("Dobry wujek" in Polish) also had its official premiere in
Polandon June 28, 2008at Wybrzeżak Theatrein Gdańsk, Poland, with a preview of the play on June 27at the University of Gdańsk. The production used the first and only polish translation of the play by Dariusz Burkowski.The show was directed by Richard Glockner, a professor at the University of Northern Iowain Cedar Fallswho was assisted by Crystal G. Schneider(the dramaturg) and Christina Carr(lights, stage design, costumes). The production had not included three scenes from the original script ("The drowned man" "A quiet war" and "The arrangement") and featured: Ewa Czernowicz ("The sneeze": General's wife; "Too late for happiness": The lady)Ewa Dziedzic ("A defenceless creatuhere": Woman)Malgorzata Kubicka ("The audition": Girl)Malgorzata Rozalska ("The governess": Mistress)Agnieszka Sprawka ("The governess": Julia)Karolina Wrobel ("The sneeze": Madame Cherdiakov; "The seduction": Wife)Mariusz Babicki ("Surgery": Sexton; "A defenceless creature": Pochatkin) Dariusz Burkowski(The writer, narrator)Lukasz Lawniczak ("The sneeze": General; "Surgery": Kuriatin)Kacper Rucinski ("The sneeze": Cherdiakov; "A defenceless creature": Kistunov)and Wojciech Tremiszewski ("The seduction": Peter; "The audition": Voice).
* [http://www.samuelfrench.com/store/product_info.php/products_id/691 Synopsis from Samuel French]
* [http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=3661 Internet Broadway Database listing]
* [http://theater2.nytimes.com/mem/theater/treview.html?res=9503E3D6163CF932A25751C0A96E958260 "New York Times" review,
February 11, 1998]
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