Simon meets Chekhov in Kāne’ohe
Image: Malia Leinau

Stage / The HPU Theatre department flings open its season with a farcical comedy by one of America’s best-loved playwrights and humorists. The Good Doctor, written by Neil Simon and directed by Joyce Maltby, opens Nov. 2 at the beautiful, intimate Paul and Vi Loo Theatre in Hawaii Loa. It’s an all-star cast, with Tom Holowich as the master of ceremonies. Tickets are already flying out the door, says Terry Olival, who works in the box office.

“People are excited,” Olival explains. The acting is good and the stories are really funny. She’s been watching rehearsals. “Every time I see it, I enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun. It’s also poignant. It’s like, ahhh.”

The Good Doctor is a series of funny, vaudevillian scenes inspired by the stories of Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov. Before The Seagull and Uncle Vanya, Chekhov wrote short satires for German newspapers when he was a medical student. Simon takes some of these stories and runs them across the stage, each anecdote punctuated at the end by a little punchline. There’s a seducer, an actress, a disgruntled government clerk, a feisty old bat. You’ll laugh and you’ll sigh.

Paul and Vi Loo Theatre, 45-045 Kamehameha Hwy., Thu.–Sat., 11/2–12/2, $5–20, 375-1282, [] for showtimes