Comic Drama / Casting: 4m, 3f / Interior Scenery
Winner of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award
By America's great comic playwright, this memory play is set in a Yonkers in 1942. The hit Broadway production featured Irene Worth, Mercedes Ruehl and Kevin Spacey in award-winning performances. Bella, is 35-years-old, mentally challenged and living at home with her mother, stern Grandma Kurnitz . As the play opens, ne'r do-well son Eddie deposits his two young sons on the old lady's doorstep. He is financially strapped and taking to the road as a salesman. The boys are left to contend with Grandma, with Bella and her secret romance, and with Louie, her brother, a small-time hood in a strange new world called Yonkers.
"The best play Simon ever wrote."-New York Post
"Broadway desperately needs a comedy, a drama, and a hit. With Lost in Yonkers, Mr. Simon has given us all three."-Wall Street Journal
"One of Simon's most impressive and funniest plays."-New York Daily News
"Laughter and tears have come together in a new emotional truth. There are moments in this play when you experience a new kind of laughter for Simon, a silent laughter that doesn't explode into a yuk but implodes straight into your heart."- Newsweek
Simon's 1991 Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play about two young boys who are forced to live for a year with their domineering, ill-tempered grandmother while their father takes a job in another state is beautifully realized by the L.A. Theatre Works cast. Like most of Simon's works, this one features an eccentric cast of characters. Listeners meet Aunt Gert (played by Gia Carides), whose voice frequently switches into a wheeze midsentence, and Uncle Louie (played by Dan Castellaneta), a Bogart-like gangster. This production realizes Simon's trademark mix of comedy and drama: the one-liners are hilarious, but the characters' sad, dysfunctional relationships are poignant. The compassionate, three-dimensional performances, combined with Simon's nuanced writing and authentic rendering of 1940s speech, make the listener fully believe in these realistic, complex characters. Standout performers include Roxanne Hart as the boys' kindhearted but nervous Aunt Bella and Barbara Bain as Grandma Kurnitz, whose tough, coldhearted exterior is a reaction to a lifetime of devastating pain and loss. Also excellent are Ben Diskin and Kenneth Schmidt as the young boys. At first lonely and miserable, fearing and hating their stern grandmother, they gradually come to respect and understand her. Based on the Random House hardcover. (Jan. 9) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.