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Transcript of Chapter Two
By: Neil Simon
A Comedy in Two Acts
The genre of this play is a dramatic comedy. It is a comedy because there are a lot of humorous lines said throughout the play. The two friends that are trying and failing to play matchmaker tend to be quite comical. The dialogue is also very sarcastic at times.
The play is dramatic because their are some intense moments and some steamy scenes.
The play begins with George returning from a trip to Europe after his wife passes away. He is not over it, but Leo won't stop trying to set him up with some one. Jennie is just divorced and her friend Faye keeps trying to set her up with someone. Finally Leo runs into Faye and Jennie and he gives George Jennie's number. Faye tells Jennie about George and that he may be calling her. Jennie returns home to Cleveland for a few weeks. George is not interested in calling Jennie at first but he calls her by mistake thinking she was someone else. Jennie answers and realizes it's George Schneider and tells him she is NOT interested in dating. They keep hanging up and calling back. Eventually George brings up the idea of meeting in person for just 5 minutes to please Faye and Leo. Jennie agrees. George comes over for the five minutes and they end up making a second date. A couple weeks later Leo comes over to Georges and tells him he and his wife are splitting up. George tells Leo that he and Jennie are getting married very soon. Leo wants him to wait longer and George wants him to work things out with his wife. George calls Jennie and confirms how he feels about her.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this play. The play was really funny and easy to get into. There were also enough serious scenes to balance the comedy. I would love to see a production of this play because it is a really good story. If I were to have a role in the play I would pick Faye because she is different from myself.
About the Play
Chapter Two was written in 1977 and is a semi-autobiography. The play had its premier at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles on October 7, 1977. The play opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre on December 4, 1977. The play closed on December 8, 1979 after 857 performances and 7 previews. The play was nominated for the 1978 Tony Award for Best Play, but lost. Anita Gillette (Jennie) was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. Cliff Gorman (Leo) was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. Ann Wedgeworth (Faye) won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.
George Schneider - Main character, widowed, good sense of humor, writer
Leo Schneider - George's little brother, matchmaker, press agent, player
Jennie Malone - George's love interest, divorced, likeable, actress
Faye Medwick - Jennie's best friend, matchmaker, outgoing
About the Playwright
Neil Simon is a playwright and screenwriter. He has written over 30 plays and a number of movie screenplays, most of which are adaptations of his plays. He has received more Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer. In 1991 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He was born on July 4, 1927 in The Bronx, New York. In 1983 he became the only living playwright to have a New York theatre named after him. The Broadway theatre, Neil Simon Theatre.
The rising action continues with Jennie and George about to get married. Jennie talks to George's mom and George gives Jennie an engagement ring. Faye comes to Jennie and askes for a key to Jennies apartment because she was going to have an affair to spice things up. Leo goes to see Jennie and likes her even more by the end of the conversation. On the morning of the wedding George is a little stressed. They have the wedding and leave for the honeymoon. A week later they come back and things are kind of rocky.
The climax occurs when Jennie and George get back from their honeymoon and they have a big fight. Jennie is trying to be fun and George gets angry. He was a ball of gloom the entire trip. He tells her he resents her for everything and doesn't want to make her happy.
There is also a big fight when George announces he is going to L.A. He won't tell her where he will be staying or anything. In this fight George gets kind of abusive. Then Jennie goes off on him and after that they kind of make up, but he still leaves.
Setting: The bounces back and forth between George's apartment and Jennie's apartment in the present time.
Main Conflict: George doesn't believe he will find love again and it scares him when he does
Climax: When George and Jennie have a fight after getting back from their honeymoon.
Resolution: George calls Jennie and reads his book to her.
Jennie has a monologue toward the end of the play when she goes off on George.
There are other characters mentioned in the play such as Barbara who is George's late wife and Marilyn who is Leo's wife and Jennie's husband.
A lot of the dialogue uses sarcasm to make it funny.
The plot is very realistic because people can be widowed and they can get divorced, but still find love again.
The settings produce a homey, intimate feel.
If I were the director I would need a big stage to be able to back and forth between the apartments. The apartments would be set up to be logical to understand and flow well.
There is constant drama and comedy that keeps the reader or viewer entertained.
There is some falling action after the climax when Faye and Leo are in Jennie's apartment having an affair. Jennie walks in on them and that breaks the party up.
Leo goes to Jennie's apartment and runs into Faye. It is an awkward conversation. Jennie walks in on them again and Leo says he has heard nothing from George. Faye admits she wanted to have an affair with Jennie's ex-husband. George returns to his apartment and calls Jennie. He says that he realized whenever he was upset before he walked around the block and that is what he did. Although he didn't make this realization till he was in L.A.
The resolution occurs when he returns to New York because he realizes that that is where Jennie and his happiness is.
Love is not limited and has a way of hitting you if you are ready or not.
George believes that he will never find love again because it is only supposed to happen once. When he meets Jennie he falls in love and doesn't know if he is ready or not. Finally he realizes that he does love Jennie and she is his happiness.