The City Theatre Austin Company presents Laughter on the 23rd Floor
The City Theatre Company will present the comedy Laughter on the 23rd Floor, an autobiographical farce inspired by Neil Simon’s own career churning out jokes for Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows.
Laughter chronicles the outrageous antics of The Max Prince Show, a 1953 variety show, under the pressure of McCarthyism, censorship, and, of course, the oddball egos of the writers themselves, many based on actual personalities, including Simon himself. Simon’s fictitious program plays to the early part of America’s coming of age in entertainment, where televisions were popping up in households all over the nation and the medium was changing radically. New genres were exploding into public view; children’s shows, family sitcoms, cops and robbers and soap operas began to replace variety shows appealing to the new American television viewers. And in politics, Senator Joseph McCarthy duked it out with politicians, writers, and performers alike, creating an anti-communist frenzy with accusations that left no one in the entertainment industry safe.