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l-r, Susan Burke, Michael Volpendesta, Mary Coy, Carol McAvoy
photo courtesy J Taylor

l-r, Michael Volpendesta, Mary Coy, Carol McAvoy
photo courtesy J Taylor

For Immediate Release, October 10, 2011

The Prisoner of Second Avenue by Neil Simon

Nellysford, VA (Oct. 10, 2011) The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Neil Simon’s timely black comedy about unemployment, is coming to the Hamner Theater for 12 performances, opening Thursday, Oct. 20 and closing Sunday, Nov. 6.

The economy is in a rut. Unemployment is skyrocketing. The question is – is it too soon to laugh? The Hamner Theater doesn’t think so, and is staging a new production of Neil Simon’s wacky 1971 hit comedy, PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE featuring Michael Volpendesta and Boomie Pedersen as Mel and Edna Edison, a middle-class couple suffering an economic downturn which will sound remarkably familiar to today’s audiences. Jim Johnston, Mary Coy, Carol McAvoy, and Susan Burke play Mel’s supportive – if dysfunctional – family who have their own ideas about the origin of Mel’s problems and how to “fix” them.

PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE was written in 1971 but the problems confronting Mel Edison are anything but dated. “Everything is going wrong for Mel,” says director Peter Coy. “He can’t sleep. His air conditioner has broken, his neighbors won’t shut up. His job is hanging by a thread. Mel is heading for a meltdown.” In this Hamner treatment of Simon’s bittersweet & funny play, tragedy becomes comedy and we all get a much-needed laugh.

Performances held from October 20 – November 6, Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 7:30PM, Sunday at 2:00PM; doors open 30 minutes before curtain. Admission is $15, and as seating is limited, reservations are advised. Please call the Box Office at 434.361.1999

There will be a champagne reception sponsored by the Wolf Family Foundation after the opening night performance on Thursday, October 20. There will be a free preview on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 7:30PM and a pay-what-you-will performance on Thursday, Oct. 27. The performance on Friday, Oct. 28 will be followed by free improv with HIT, the Hamner Improv Troupe.

About the Hamner Theater: The Hamner Theater is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and receives funding from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, private foundations and individual donors to support its mission of bringing professional theater to Nelson County. The Hamner Theater is located in the Rockfish Valley Community Center on Route 151, between Nellysford & Afton, 22920, in Nelson County, VA. Please call the Box Office at 434-361-1999 to purchase tickets. Learn more at

What: Hamner Theater presents The Prisoner of Second Avenue by Neil Simon

Where: Hamner Theater, at the Rockfish Valley Community Center

When: Thursday – Sunday, Oct. 20 – Nov. 6, 2011

Times: Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 7:30PM, Sunday at 2:00PM, Doors 30 minutes earlier.

Special shows:
Free Preview, Wed., Oct. 19 at 7:30PM,
Pay-what-you-will, Thursday, Oct. 27,
Champagne Reception follows opening night, Thurs., Oct. 20.
Free improv with the Hamner Impro Troupe, HIT, follows the performance on Friday, October 28.

Admission: $15

Reservations (advised): 434.361.1999

Information/Directions: or 434.361.1999

Post: Hamner Theater, P.O. Box 106, Nellysford, VA 22958
Phone: (434) 361 1999