Reynoldsburg High drama club checks into Plaza Suite

 Messenger photo by Lori Smith

Reynoldsburg High School students Tim Elkin and Jamie McSorley rehearse for the upcoming production of Neil Simon’s "Plaza Suite." The comedy will be seen at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17; Friday, April 18; and Saturday, April 19.

The premise of Neil Simon’s "Plaza Suite" is simple – one hotel room, three very different life-changing experiences.

Reynoldsburg High School’s drama club will put their spin on the comedy when the curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17; Friday, April 18; and Saturday April 19 at the school, 6699 E. Livingston Ave.

Ryan Britton, a 2004 graduate of Reynoldsburg High School, said this is the second time he has directed a Neil Simon play.

"We did one of his plays last year – ‘The Dinner Party,’ " Britton said.

Like last year’s production, Britton said, "Plaza Suite" delves deep into a handful of characters, with comic relief keeping the play from being too heavy.

"One of the hardest parts is there is a lot of one-on-one dialogue," he said. "We feature several of our characters in each scene for an extended period of time."

"Plaza Suite," which began its run on Broadway in 1968, tells the stories of three people as they each have a unique experience in Plaza Suite 719. A film version featuring Walter Matthau in a triple role was released in 1971.

The first act, which is the most serious, introduces the audience to Sam and Karen Nash (Tim Elkin and Jamie McSorley), a not-so-blissfully wedded couple who are revisiting their honeymoon suite in an attempt to bring the love back into their marriage.

The plan backfires and the two become involved a heated argument about whether Sam is having an affair with his secretary, Jean McCormack (Alexandra Franke).

The act ends with Sam leaving – allegedly to attend to urgent business – and Karen reflecting on how much things have changed since they were young.

The second act features a meeting between former movie producer Jesse Kiplinger (Seth Paxton) and his old flame, suburban housewife Muriel Tate (Sarah Shuricht). Muriel is aware of his reputation as a smooth-talking ladies’ man and has come for nothing more than a chat between old friends. Jesse has other plans and repeatedly attempts to seduce her.

The third act revolves around married couple Roy and Norma Hubley (Daniel Virden and Amy Bravard) on the wedding day of their daughter, Mimsey (Alexandra Franke). In a fit of pre-wedding jitters, Mimsey locks herself in the suite’s bathroom and refuses to leave.

Other cast members include Anna Cecil as the bellhop and Chic Estose as the waiter.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. The doors will open an hour prior to performances for ticket sales. For reservations or information, contact the high school at 501-4000.

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