In my opinion, Neil Simon plays are usually hit-or-miss. They are either phenomenal or awful(*yea* for binary choices!).
In this case, the writing was amazing. I found myself laughing at such awful things as sodomy, prostitution, racism, and humiliation; another true mark of a Neil Simon play.
We got student rush tickets and were seated to the far right of the theatre. I've always said there isn't really a bad seat in the theatre, and I stand by that. Granted, they weren't great, but they weren't awful either. Interestingly enough, for some of the action on stage the actors had their backs to the entire audience. I thought that was an interesting choice. It was executed well.
The acting started out somewhat stilted. I haven't decided what exactly to attribute this, too. It could have just been that the actors weren't adequately warmed up and into their characters... but there is also the thought that anyone in their situation would have seemed flat and stilted. After all, being thrown into Basic Training with 5 other people that you don't know and a Raving Lunatic for a Sergeant would probably alter your outward personality. I'm still undecided on which it is.
As usual, sets were amazing. Geva really has a reputation for amazing sets. The detail just amazes me. They have a great space to work with, too, which really helps. The train scenes were very amazing... they even captured the Dopplar effect with the sound effects of outside the train. Awesome.
I was surprised that I didn't cry at all. I really thought I would, but I was deeply moved... the love scene at the end of the play really made me miss Mike. Which, of course, means it was damn good. :-P
The whole play was very quotable, I just wish I could remember parts of it. Something that I didn't realize is that it is a movie(with Matthew Broderick!!!)... I should see those sometime.
There was a line about the definition of sodomy.(paraphrased) "Sodomy is when you do something with someone who doesn't want to do it with you because you can't get the someone that you want to do something with to do it with you."
(that's not right, but it's close).
It's a sign of great writing when you can crack up about something like that.