Stage Door Productions Lost in YonkersBy Laura & Mike Clark • May 2nd, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Stage Door Productions’ Lost in Yonkers [MP3 4:45 1.4MB].
Laura: Sunday afternoon we saw Stage Door Productions’ Lost in Yonkers in Massaponax, Virginia.
Mike: Lost in Yonkers is a play by Neil Simon. It is set during World War II. It focuses on the brothers Arty and Jay. They get left at their grandmother’s house while their father has to be a traveling salesman to pay off some bad debts. Grandma though is not a loving apple pie type grandmother. She is very bitter, and has made her children’s lives just horrible. The kids don’t want to stay with her, but there’s not much of a choice. So Arty and Jay have to learn how to live with their family and make the best of a bad situation. Lost in Yonkers did win a Tony Award for Best Play, also the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding new play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Laura: This show had an intensity that it kept throughout the entire performance. I thought it was very well done. Also some really good comedy lines thrown in there that I thought were really good, too. Everybody seemed comfortable with each other.
Mike: This was a good show. It was very well acted. Jay and Arty were high schoolers and they did a really good job with the rest of the cast. They were on stage pretty much the whole show. I liked how the different family members each had their own problems based on growing up with their mother. You really felt sympathy. All of us has a least one crazy relative somewhere in the family that no one quite gets a long with.
Laura: The two brothers, Jay and Arty, did a really good job together. Jay was the older brother. He was played by Alex Mills. Arty was played by Billy Hutto. They were both well cast for this role. I could see them as brothers. The older brother Jay was a little bit more serious. He was more frustrated with the grandmother, more exasperated. He came upstairs complaining and really exasperated. I felt for him, but at the same time it was really funny. Arty the younger brother, was a little bit more quiet and more reserved. He kept it inside and was silently angry at the grandmother and his situation. He was sort of resentful about everything, but I thought they both did an excellent job.
Mike: Grandma Kurnitz was played by Charlotte Fields. That woman was just so nasty. Not a pleasant bone in her body. You heard her clomping down the hallway with her cane. She did a good portrayal of a nasty woman. There were many examples of how the grandmother was not being fair to her family, both to the grandkids and her children. Every time that would come up, Charlotte Fields would get an expression on her face of almost contempt. There wasn’t a lot of redeeming qualities in the grandmother. At the end of the play everything kind of falls apart. I think she did a good job in that role.
Laura: Grandma Kurnitz’s daughter, Bella was played by Mary O’Dell. She did a very good job. I really felt for her. She was trying to please her mother, but after years of being hit with a cane and being told she was nothing she finally believed that about herself. But she still had good feelings towards Jay and Arty and her brother and wanted to make them happy during their time. I though she did a very good job. She had a scene at the end when she stood up for herself.
Mike: Stage Door Productions is a small community theater and, unfortunately, they don’t have a regular home. We have seen several of their shows in several different places: libraries, and Massaponax High School (where this one was done). Every time they have given a very strong performance and a very good use of space for wherever they’re at has. Because they don’t have a regular home, they have to move everything after each performance and after each rehearsal, so their sets are usually pretty simple. This one did have a few walls and a few larger pieces such as a dining table, a sofa and a china cabinet. One of the problems is they do have to move around a lot. I would encourage you to go see this show. This group is working really hard and doing really good work.
Laura: Lost in Yonkers is playing for one more weekend through May 6th. Friday and Saturday at 8 PM and 2 PM on Sunday at Massaponax High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
- Jay: Alex Mills
- Arty: Billy Hutto
- Eddie: Daniel Bairley
- Bella: Mary O’Dell
- Grandma Kurnitz: Charlotte Fields
- Louie: John Gardner
- Gert: Kim Herlong
- Director: Kimberly Kemp
- Stage Manager: Eileen Fink
- Assistant Stage Manager: Taylor Ullrich
- Props: Maura Rojeck, Kaitlin Kemp
- Costumes: Tina Morris
- Lights: Richard Ingebretson
- Sound: Taylor Ullrich
- Set Construction: Sean Kemp
- Publicity: Susan Ingebretson
- Grips: Chris Ullrich, Kaitlin Kemp
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1933.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.