LATHAM — On a hot summer night in a stifling apartment over a candy store in Yonkers in 1942, teen-age brothers Jay (Kevin Zuchowski) and Artie (Micah Juman) anxiously await the outcome of a hushed private meeting between their recently widowed dad and their gorgon of a grandmother (Carol Charniga) that is taking place in the next room.
Having recently lost their mother to cancer, the boys’ dad, Eddie (Steven Leifer), has just found a job to alleviate the debt of the hospital bills incurred by their mother’s illness. But the job will require him to travel for almost a year. Eddie is hoping his mother will take care of Jay and Artie while he’s away.
To say that Grandma isn’t too happy about this request may be an understatement. And Jay and Arty aren’t very pleased about this proposed living arrangement either.
Why? This woman who raised their fearful and emotionally frightened dad Eddie, and his dysfunctional and damaged siblings; a petty thug and thief, Louie (Kevin Barhydt), the wheezy and truckling Gert (Pamela O’Connor) and the simple and child-like Bella (Kathleen Carey), may not be the best of babysitters.
Winner of almost every major award when it first premiered in 1990, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers” is arguably Simon’s most masterful play.
Rich with heart, Simon weaves his comic gifts into and around a poignant story of loss and longing, and the power of how those emotions can trap and damage. Not strictly as autobiographical as the playwright’s “Brighton Beach Trilogy,” it’s a bit surprising that this play feels his…
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