Crossing From Delancey to Boca Raton

By Hindi Diamond

Published April 14, 2006, issue of April 14, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Susan Sandler, screenwriter of the 1988 romantic comedy “Crossing Delancey,” scored a double hit last month when her latest project, a play titled “Under the Bed,” enjoyed its world premiere in Boca Raton, Fla. Not only did the show garner an enthusiastic response from the audience, but the playwright’s father, Morris, himself a Boca resident, was able to be among those applauding.

The older Sandler, who moved to Boca a few years ago, regaled the Forward with tales of his daughter’s earliest literary triumphs. While growing up in Newport News, Va., she “was editor of her school paper, writing poetry and prose. I knew that passion would consume her and propel her to her life’s career,” he said. She currently teaches screenwriting at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Sandler’s new play delves into the interior lives of a group of Florida senior citizens. It touches on such challenges as how an aging lass is to make do in a world where women outnumber men by what sometimes seems like a ratio of 16-to-1.

After a reading at the 92nd Street Y last year, featuring Olympia Dukakis, “Under the Bed” was nominated for Newsday’s Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Play.

Sandler has come a long way from the days when she wrote the semiautobiographical “Crossing Delancey.”

“At the time,” she told the Forward, “I was single, like the girl in the movie, and when my bubbe came to visit me in New York she said I lived like a dog, with bars on the window, and deplored the fact that I was still single.”

Much has changed since then. She’s now married to Hugh Conlon, a learning specialist, with whom she spends winters in New York and summers in Nantucket, Mass. — along with the occasional trip to Florida.

This trip was particularly sweet. “Coming down here was such a ball,” she said. “This audience, which gave me a standing ovation on opening night, has brought such humor and heart and love for the characters. It’s been a real blessing for me, on every level, both personally and professionally.” The next step, she said, is taking the play off-Broadway.

Looking lovingly at her father, the award-winning playwright said: “My father is my muse, my inspiration. He’s a very good observer of the contemporary scene himself. I guess that’s where I got it.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.