Unlikely Collaborators Bring Comedy to RTR

On May 11-12, a production themed “Comic Collaborations” unites two writers and two directors for an evening of pointed humor.

Husband and wife David Berkson and Wendy Wilcox will team to direct The Good Doctor, by Neil Simon, a series of comic vignettes based on short stories written by Anton Chekhov.

As Berkson explains, “Anton Chekhov and Neil Simon seem to be unlikely collaborators, but ‘The Good Doctor’ proves that they’re an ideal match. Both writers are astute observers of the human condition, and have incredible comic chops.” Wilcox agrees. “It turns out that Chekhov was quite popular but critically underrated in his time. Sound familiar?”

The play is a series of eight vaudeville-style sketches tied together by a central character, a narrator who is struggling for credibility.

Simon and Chekhov both honed their chops on comedy in their youth. In his 20s, Chekhov wrote short humorous stories, sketches and one- act farces for the stage. Simon also spent his 20s writing comic TV sketches for shows like Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows and episodes for the Phil Silvers Show. Berkson and Wilcox believe Chekhov’s lighter side and Simon’s darker side blend perfectly for an evening of laughing at human folly.


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