The Gingerbread Lady
In the 1970's, Evy Meara, a 40 something year old nightclub singer, and a recovering alcoholic, is welcomed home from rehab by her loyal friends and teenage daughter. Evy's rehab was precipitated by a disastrous relationship with a guitar player ten years her junior. Evy's closest male friend is Jimmy Perry, a forty-year-old gay actor who is still waiting for his big break. Her best girlfriend is Toby, an ageing glamour queen who can't seem to hang onto her husband. And Evy's ex-boyfriend is a thoughtless freeloader who tries to weasel his way back into her affections when he is dumped by his latest 18 year old conquest. The only relatively well-adjusted person in this play is Evy's sweet and loving daughter, Polly.
Neil Simon is the master of the one line gag and the first act of "The Gingerbread Lady" is rife with them. We never consciously notice the clever character development because we're always laughing too hard. Simon has crafted a play full of the most lovable losers you'll ever want to meet. The second act, however, takes a more serious turn as Simon explores the real problems associated with Evy's alcoholism. As we soon see, living with a drinker is not all fun and games -- not for her family and friends, nor for herself.
When Elaine Stritch first read this play she swore that Simon had written it about her. In fact, a handful of notoriously colourful actresses have all claimed that this play was modelled on their not so "model" lives.
Not unlike the ginger snap, this is a sweet little play with a bit of a bite to it !
"He has combined an amusing comedy with the atmosphere of great sadness. His characteristic wit and humour are at their brilliant best, and his serious story of lost misfits can often be genuinely and deeply touching"~ N.Y. Post
"Mr. Simon's play is as funny as ever the customary avalanche of hilarity, and landslide of pure unbuttoned joy"~ N.Y. Times
Written By : Neil Simon
Directed by : Andrew Clark