The Prisoner of Second Avenue: A Comedy in Two Acts

Front Cover
Samuel French, Inc., 1972 - Drama - 84 pages
1 Review
Comedy / Characters: 2 males, 4 females

Scenery: Interior

Mel Edison is a well paid executive of a high-end Manhattan firm which has suddenly hit the skids and he gets the ax. His wife Edna takes a job to tide them over, then she too is sacked. Compounded by the air-pollution killing his plants, and with the walls of the apartment paper-thin, allowing him a constant earfull of his neighbors private lives things can't seem to get any worse...then he's robbed and his psychiatrist dies with $23,000 of his money. Mel does the only thing left for him to do-he has a nervous breakdown and it's the best thing that ever happened to him...

"A gift for taking a grave subject and, without losing sight of its basic seriousness, treating it with hearty but sympathetic humor...A talent for writing a wonderful funny line...full of humor and intelligence. Fine fun."-New York Post

"Creates an atmosphere of casual cataclysm, an everyday urban purgatory of copelessness from which laughter seems to be released like vapor from the city's manholes."-Time


What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, and other cast members performed this play for the L.A. Theatre Works audience shortly after a successful revival in London's West End. The story revolves around Mel ... Read full review

Review: The Prisoner of Second Avenue

User Review  - Karlton - Goodreads

Pretty bleak black comedy. Fits well with today's economy, though. Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1972)

America's most prolific and beloved playwright, Neil Simon is the author of more than two dozen plays and screenplays. In 1990, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the winner of three Tony Awards. Simon splits his time between New York and Los Angeles.

Bibliographic information