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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Real Life "Plaza Suite"? This Quarantined Couple Hates Each Other in Three Specific Ways

by Rebecca Wild.

NEW YORK, NY - While the Broadway shutdown has stretched into summer, leaving dozens of theaters dark, one New York resident has had no shortage of entertainment. From her Lower East Side apartment, Meghan Osborn has a front-row seat to her neighbors’ nightly altercations and the three specific ways they hate each other a la the Neil Simon play Plaza Suite.

“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop on the Swansons, but the walls here are pretty thin”, said an exasperated Osborn, while sweeping up piles of hair she had pulled out the previous night. “At first the arguments were about normal things, like who changed the Netflix password, but then it escalated to fighting about the cost of their daughter’s wedding. The Swansons don’t even have a daughter.”

Simone Swanson, Osborn’s neighbor, dismissed these complaints as “childish”, and added that she “has a right to yell at her husband if she suspects he’s cheating on her with his secretary”. Norman Swanson, her husband, had no response to these claims, but noted that “we’ve been shut in together for so long that I have no idea what’s real and what isn’t. Can we open a window in here?”

While other neighbors claim that these nightly disturbances have proved frustrating, some admit that losing sleep to overhear the arguments hasn’t been a total loss.

“To be honest, some of the things they fight about are pretty interesting,” said their downstairs neighbor Henry Cullto. “I’m no theater critic or anything, but if I were watching these fights play out on stage, I would describe the performance as ‘lively and spirited’, maybe even ‘a total knockout’”, explained Osborn. “Then again, I might just be going crazy from the Broadway shutdown”.

The revival of Plaza Suite, Neil Simon’s classic about three strained romantic relationships, was set to open on Broadway in April of 2020. Despite the show being rescheduled to 2021, the residents of Tompkins Square Apartments have already had a sneak preview of what it’s like to watch a marriage fall apart.

“One minute they’re fine, the next they’re arguing about whether they live on the seventh or eighth floor,” sighed Osborn. “It’s like they’re three different couples or something. And this building only has six floors, so there’s definitely something going on there”.

While the arguments have put a strain on the Swansons, the rumors circulating about their seemingly inevitable divorce have delighted local Neil Simon fans, who have used the Swansons as an “in your face” argument against those who believe Simon’s work is no longer relatable.


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