After this review appeared in the Ashtabula Star Beacon, I received a phone call from the marketing director at The Cleveland Play House informing me that I had been quoted in the New York Times (imagine that!) for the same show that had moved to the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. I'll try to post the ad.
January 20, 2010
‘Lost in Yonkers’ keeps them laughing
By ROGER SMITH
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Play House audiences are being treated to yet another smash hit.
Neil Simon’s “‘Lost in Yonkers” is wowing patrons at the East 85th Street theater and those patrons are responding with spontaneous laughter — a good sign that the show is well-received. Armed with a cast loaded with talent from top to bottom and a sure fire playwright’s script, there can’t be anything but success on the stage.
Actors young and old with resumes that boast experience from around the country set about to entertain, and entertain they do.
The young boys in the play (Maxwell Beer as Arty and Alex Wyse as Jay) are the spigots through which the comedy begins to flood the stage. Their aunt Bella, played by Sara Surrey, is a comic-tragic figure who wraps her fingers around the hearts of everyone in the theater but her mother.
Rosemary Prinz as Grandma Kurnitz to the boys and mother to Bella is staid and staunch in her child rearing, denying hugs and words of love that youngsters need in order to feel complete. Looking and acting every bit the part, Prinz made it perfectly clear she knew what she was doing in her portrayal of a demanding matriarch.
Anthony Crane, John Plumpis and Patricia Buckley in the roles of the adult children of Grandma were convincing in their continued childhood fear of the woman.
Though the script by Simon is somewhat predictable, its interpretation is what makes the house ring with laughter. The Play House sets are usually eye-catching; the interior of Grandma’s house is no exception.
“Lost in Yonkers,” directed by Michael Bloom, won a Pulitzer Prize and it received the Tony Award for Best Play. The show runs through Jan. 31 at the Drury Theatre. For tickets, call 216-795-7000, est. 4 or visit www.clevelandplayhouse.com.