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April 1-9: Neil Simon comedy ‘The Dinner Party’

By Gail Siegel, WSU Performing Arts

DinnerParty-webPULLMAN, Wash. – Farce and failed relationships will be on the menu when Washington State University Performing Arts presents Neil Simon’s “The Dinner Party,” opening April 1 for six performances in Daggy Hall’s Jones Theatre.

Directed by Mary Trotter, the play will be performed April 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. Saturday matinees April 2 and 9. The second weekend coincides with Mom’s Weekend at WSU.

The plot involves six people invited to dine at a fine Parisian restaurant without knowing who the other guests will be. As they arrive one by one, the guests discover that their party comprises three divorced couples, and their mysterious host has an agenda yet to be revealed.

“At the heart of it, ‘The Dinner Party’ is about relationships: why they fail, why they work and why they may be reunited,” said Trotter. “The overarching theme is that we are all different in love, which is why I think this ‘farce-turned-dramedy’ is for everyone. Audiences can expect some good laughs along with a little sentiment thrown in.”

Reserved seating costs $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (ages 60+) and all students and youth. A discounted rate of $5 per person is available for groups of eight or more.

Tickets are on sale at TicketsWest outlets, including online at, by phone at 800-325-SEAT (7328) and in person at WSU’s Beasley Coliseum (open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday; closed March 14-18 for WSU’s spring break) and the Rosauers supermarket in Lewiston, Idaho. Same-day tickets will be sold at the Daggy Hall box office beginning two hours before each performance, subject to availability.

Simon is an American playwright and screenwriter. In a career spanning more than 50 years, he has received numerous Tony, Emmy, Golden Globe and Writers Guild of America awards for works like “The Odd Couple,” “Biloxi Blues,” “The Out-of-Towners” and “The Goodbye Girl,” as well as a Pulitzer Prize for “Lost in Yonkers” and four Academy Award nominations for screenwriting.

“I am big fan of Neil Simon and was excited to have the opportunity to do one of his lesser-known plays,” said Trotter. “The cast and I have had a great time getting to know these characters and laughing at the relationship pitfalls we share with them.”

The WSU Performing Arts production of “The Dinner Party” stars David Harlan, Willie Grover, Michael Tayler, Ann-Jeannette Seymour, Cassandra Lee and Brenna Casey as the uneasy exes.

Parking for all performances will be available without permits or fees in the Daggy Hall parking garage and in the Green 2 lot directly across the street from Daggy Hall.

“The Dinner Party” is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.


Gail Siegel, WSU Performing Arts (, 509-335-8522,



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