The Theater: Cliff Dwellers' Purgatory

New Yorkers are disaster-prone, and they rather relish it. Muggings, burglaries, strikes and technological failures of all kinds form part of the daily news fare. A New Yorker would count the day lost if he could not regale an out-of-towner, or a friend, or himself, with some vivid tale of megalopolitan woe. The past master of this urban gallows humor is Neil Simon, and in The Prisoner of Second Avenue he has written his finest play since The Odd Couple.

As always with Simon, this is a situation comedy. Mel (Peter Falk) is a...

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