Wednesday, October 12, 2016

review - LOST IN YONKERS - Desert Stages Theatre

Heidi Carpenter, George Piccininni, and Christian Bader
Photo by Heather & Dana Butcher
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through November 13th.

"There is a reason playwright Neil Simon has had such a successful and prolific career—his plays are incredibly well written with rich characters and situations that are identifiable and, while they usually include heartwarming moments, they are hardly ever cloying or overly sentimental. The Pulitzer Prize winning Lost in Yonkers is one of Simon's best and, with a superb cast and clear direction, Desert Stages Theatre's production is an exceptionally beautiful experience. Eddie Kurnitz has a serious problem. His wife just recently died from cancer and he is straddled with a $9,000 debt...his only recourse to raise the funds is to take a stressful but high paying job as a traveling salesman. But what will he do with his young teenage boys Jay and Arty? Could he possibly leave them with his harsh and strong mother, whom he is estranged from, and his childlike, mentally challenged sister Bella?...While it isn't related to Simon's Brighton Beach series of plays it does feature many of those plays' themes, such as the importance of family and taking responsibility for your actions, and how things we experience as children impact us as adults. DST's cast is top-notch. Under Mark Alan C. Clemente's assured direction, George Piccininni and Christian Bader are giving exceptional performances as Jay and Arty. ..They deliver realistic portrayals of these two boys that make you not only want to protect them but also see them learn and grow from their experiences....As Bella, Heidi Carpenter is delivering a heartbreaking and heartwarming performance....KatiBelle Collins is superb as Grandma. She is a firecracker in the part....Timothy Pittman is full of life as as Louie, Bella and Eddie's gangster brother who is a charming yet somewhat menacing man. ...the costumes by Mickey Courtney are excellent and include character and period appropriate dresses and suits. Spencer Claus' hair designs are equally as good....Lost in Yonkers won Neil Simon much praise, a healthy Broadway run, and many awards, including the Tony for Best Play. With a superb cast, excellent direction and rich creative elements, Desert Stages' production shows that all of that acclaim was completely warranted. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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