Seinfeld’s George Costanza, also known as Jason Alexander, will direct a new production of Neil Simon’s hit play Broadway Bound. The play will run at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in West Los Angeles from August 2nd to September 21st. Alexander is credited with having helped create the role of Stanley in the original Broadway production when he performed it back in 1987.
“Broadway Bound is near and dear to my heart, as it was one of my happiest times on Broadway, ” said Jason Alexander. “Seeing my friends Gina [Hecht] and Allan [Miller] perform it at La Mirada last year brought back many memories of my journey with the creation of the play, which I shared with them. After that discussion, they were inspired to re-explore it with me at the helm, and the Odyssey has miraculously and generously stepped up to produce that effort.”
Born Jay Scott Greenspan in Newark, New Jersey, in 1959, Jason Alexander has had a versatile career as an actor on stage and screen, but is best known for the nine seasons in which he played Jerry Seinfeld’s dysfunctional best friend George Costanza on the hit show Seinfeld. Unfortunately, Alexander’s attempts to recreate his success on Seinfeld failed when neither of his new sitcoms, Bob Patterson, in 2001, and Listen Up, in 2004, were renewed.
Alexander first returned to the theater after his hit television show in 2003, with the Los Angeles production of Mel Brooks’ hit musical The Producers, opposite Martin Short, and a 2004 musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, playing Jacob Marley, with Kelsey Grammer as Ebenezer Scrooge.
Broadway Bound is one of many of Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical stories, centering on two brothers in the 1940s who are aspiring comedy writers. They are holed up in their home in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, to try and write for a radio comedy show. The brothers use their family’s real life stories as the basis for their material.
The play is the third and final in Simon’s trilogy based on his life that begins with Brighton Beach Memoirs and includes Biloxi Blues. It was nominated for a Tony award for new play and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in drama in 1987.
The brothers’ mother will be played by Gina Hecht, who co-starred with Alexander in a production of Simon’s The Prisoner of Second Avenue at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood in 2011.
The production’s press release states: “Broadway Bound sparkles with the potent combination of Simon’s celebrated comic genius and his deep understanding of family dynamics. As their parents’ relationship unravels, two brothers — aspiring comedy writers — convene in the upstairs bedroom of their Brighton Beach home to write and rehearse material. When the brothers use their real-life family situation as inspiration for a radio comedy skit, they quickly learn that complications ensue when life informs art.”
Neil Simon, 87, has written more than thirty stage plays and dozens of original movie screenplays. Many of his plays were made into films, including, Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Goodbye Girl, and, most notably, The Odd Couple, which was made into a successful television sitcom as well.