Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Another Neil Simon Couple

It's looking more and more as if the 2005-6 season will be Neil Simon's year on Broadway. With the Nathan Lane-Matthew Broderick revival of "The Odd Couple" already setting sales records - it has an advance of more than $16 million, unheard of for a straight play - now comes word of the cast for a new production of "Barefoot in the Park," the 1963 romantic comedy by Mr. Simon. Patrick Wilson (who starred in HBO's "Angels in America") and Amanda Peet (in Neil LaBute's "This Is How It Goes") will fill the roles of the newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter, originally played by Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley. Jill Clayburgh and Tony Roberts will also star. (Mr. Roberts replaced Mr. Redford during the Broadway run.) The new production, to be directed by Scott Elliott, begins rehearsals on Dec. 26, with an eye toward a February 2006 opening at a Broadway theater to be announced. JESSE McKINLEY