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Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick: The show does go on

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker: Finally, the show goes on
Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker: Finally, the show goes on 07:07

At the Hudson Theatre in New York City, actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick returned to meet up with "Sunday Morning" anchor Jane Pauley, again. "Isn't it strange? It's Groundhog Day!" Parker laughed.

Much of the pandemic has felt that way, like our visit with Parker and Broderick, two years ago, at this very spot. 

Pauley asked, "The two of you have worked together before. But never as husband and wife?"

"Never worked like this," Parker replied.

Certainly not "like this."

Jane Pauley visits with Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick on the stage set of the Neil Simon play, "Plaza Suite," after two years of a Broadway shutdown. CBS News

"When did a troupe of actors on Broadway ever experience having a show, closing down the theater, and two years later coming back? That's never happened?" Pauley asked.

"No, not even close, I don't think," said Broderick.

Watch Jane Pauley's 2020 interview with Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker: 

Sarah Jessica Parker + Matthew Broderick 07:46

Back in March of 2020, "Plaza Suite" had just arrived on Broadway after a sold-out run in Boston. "We had a very bad flu, which I'm still questioning!" Parker laughed. "I enjoy the mystery of, 'Was that the flu or was that COVID?'"

And just as they were about to begin the first performance, Broadway went dark.

"We were on this side [of the stage] when they told us the governor said we had 20 minutes to clear out," Parker recalled.

Thinking they'd be back in a couple of weeks, not two years. But in that time honored-tradition, the show must go on.

Pauley asked, "Why is that so important?"

"It was a priority for both of us," Parker said. "I mean, sincerely. And as dates were shifting, this play stood kind of in the center of everything."

"And trying to guess patterns of a pandemic are impossible," Broderick added.

In the early days of the pandemic, the couple did what many people at home were doing: "Well, at first I was very like, 'Well, I'll make the most of it, and make some beans,'" Broderick said. "And then somebody called me a 'bean dad' or something, some incredibly derogatory word about people who were making beans!"

"Who soaked beans every night," said Parker.

"No more beans!" he laughed.

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker.  CBS News

And they've both been busy … Parker reprising her role as the iconic Carrie Bradshaw in the HBO series, "And Just Like That …"; and Broderick starring in an upcoming Netflix series about the opioid crisis, "Painkiller."

But before all the movies and television, there was Broadway. Broderick has been a Broadway star since his first Tony at age 21, as Neil Simon's alter-ego in "Brighton Beach Memoirs."

And at 13, Parker was Broadway's beloved little optimist, "Annie."

"I'd like to be an optimist," Parker suggested.

"They live longer," said Pauley. "I know, because apparently I'm not one. But I'm married to one, and he's gonna outlive me!  They do live – they're wrong! But they live …"

"You should do a Neil Simon play!" Parker said.

"That's the spirit!" Broderick laughed.

Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite" is a comedy about changing marital mores in the 1960s. Parker and Broderick play three couples in three acts.

Parker and Broderick plays three different couples in Neil Simon's three-act play, each act taking place in Suite 719 of the Plaza Hotel.   CBS News

"It occurs to me, 1968 wasn't a great year," said Pauley. "But doesn't it feel good to go back in time, to get out of this century, and revisit 1968 in a way that feels different than it would've been two years ago?"

"For better or worse, women's roles and men's roles, sexual politics, economy, class, culture, it really is of its time," said Parker.

This was Parker's first visit to the Hudson Theatre in two years. They found dressing rooms – her makeup, candy, costumes – eerily just as they were in March 2020. The set: ready to go. And the stars: getting there.

Parker describes some of Broderick's stage directions: "Roy goes out on the ledge to try to sneak into Mimsey's room."

"Spoiler alert!" said Broderick.

"Oh sorry, spoiler alert!  Do you still think you're gonna be able to get out there? Well, don't do it right now, 'cause you don't have the right shoes on."

"I don't know, I might need some sort of rigging!" he laughed.

Funny to find everything stayed the same, when everything is so different.

Pauley said, "You were supposed to be way, way moved on past 'Plaza Suite,' and the prospect of learning lines."

"I thought they would come right back; they did not!' Broderick laughed. "I just was on stage with a lot of people, and an actor who had a lot of lines coming up, and he grabbed another actor – I was standing right near them – and said, 'What's the name of the woman I'm about to talk about? Her name! I can't remember her name!'"

Pauley said, "I used to do that on live television when we had an interview. I would, 'Thank you …. for being here!'"

"I forget names in this play all the time," Broderick said. "Sometimes I just say a name that pops into my head, and nobody minds. But then I have to remember what I changed it to."

"Jesse [one of Broderick's roles] has all these ex-wives, and the names that he says, rather than the names Neil wrote, are pretty amusing!" said Parker.

In five days, the theater doors will open again. Parker said, "We feel confident that this time around we'll at least get to leave the gate!"

And the show goes on! 

Pauley said, "Matthew Broderick, you've got people who are gonna come and see – 'Anything he's in, I'm in.'"

"And that's 30-40 people right there!"

"And then, your devoted 'Sex and the City' generation …"

"We'll see," Parker said. "It was such an amazing experience in Boston. I just hope we can somehow find our way back there, because this is a very wonderful play."

CBS News

For more info:

Story produced by Mary Raffalli. Editor: Steven Tyler.

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