The day after Paula Vogel won the Pulitzer Prize (Apr. 14) for How I Learned To Drive, another Pulitzer-winner got a regional staging. Neil Simon's Lost In Yonkers started previews at Michigan's Meadowbrook Theatre, Apr. 15, opened Apr. 18, and now finishes its scheduled run, May 10.
When their father must go on the road to repay a loan shark, young Jay and Arty Kurnitz must spend eight months with their grandma -- the antitheses of the warm and tender matriarch. Meanwhile, Grandma Kurnitz' daughter, the developmentally disabled Bella, and her no-goodnik son, Louie, add life and turmoil to the household.
Simon's play won the 1991 Tony and Pulitzer prizes. It is similar in tone to, but not part of, his famous autobiographical trilogy, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound. Other plays by Simon include the comedies The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, and The Sunshine Boys.
Starring in Yonkers at Meadow Brook are Terry Heck (Bella), Henrietta Hermelin (Grandma), John Michael Manfredi, Parker Plague, Adam Rochkind, John Seibert and Julie Yolles. Designing the show are Peter W. Hicks (set), Reid G. Johnson (lighting), Barbara Jenks (costumes) and Brett Rominger (sound).
For tickets ($22-$32) and information on Lost In Yonkers at the Meadow Brook Theatre on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, MI, call (248) 377-3300. -- By David Lefkowitz