Neil Simon’s 45 Seconds from Broadway refers to the amount of time it takes to walk to Broadway from the play’s setting, a coffee shop. Inspired by the Edison Hotel coffee shop, also known as the Polish Tea Room, it is a favorite watering hole for struggling actors, aspiring writers, standup comics, and suburban matinee ladies. The central character, comedian Mickey Fox, is surrounded by a host of eclectic characters including the proprietor and his wife, an upscale society dame and her nearly mute husband, a British impresario, a Broadway ingénue, and a South African playwright. Simon’s typical one-liners fly fast and furiously throughout the first act, but the play takes a more serious turn when Mickey’s older brother pleads with him to help his son become the comedian he desperately wants to be.
For tickets and more information, go to the Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids website at www.jtgr.org or call their box office at 616/234-3946.