PLAYWRIGHTS: California Simonized

When he left New York last January to establish himself in Hollywood, Neil Simon, Broadway's best comic playwright, seemed destined to dissolve into orange juice. The master of the sharp New York-Jewish one-liner, the one man who has been able to keep Broadway alive and kicky for 15 years —with Sunshine Boys, Plaza Suite, The Odd Couple and The Prisoner of Second Avenue—could not possibly survive in all that gossamer. He was too deep into Broadway to travel well. His brains would scramble in the sun. The sands of Malibu would jam his typewriter if tennis elbow did not...