Lawrence Frascella
November 10, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Dinner Party

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
run date
10/19/00
performer
Jon Lovitz, Larry Miller, John Ritter, Henry Winkler
director
John Rando
author
Neil Simon

We gave it a B-

The granddaddy of comic playwrights, Neil Simon, is back with a much anticipated new play. The Dinner Party is a one-act affair about six Parisian divorces invited to a mysterious gathering, which takes place in a baroque dining room. The first third clocks one gratifying laugh every minute, thanks to the presence of sitcom vets Henry Winkler (as a nebbishy car salesman) and John Ritter (as a frustrated novelist). But as the characters recount their mating failures and sexual histories, Simon drifts into Oprahisms and — worse — a pureed decadence. What emerges is a view of marriage that is both sour and sentimental. B-

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