ISRAELL'CHAIMMay 2023

Lost in Yonkers: Now at Scripps Ranch Theater

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By Jana Mazurkiewicz

The Jewish community of San Diego is excited to see Lost in Yonkers, a Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by renown American playwright Neil Simon, at Scripps Ranch Theatre on the campus of Alliant International University. It previews on Friday, May 19, opens Saturday, May 20 and runs through June 11; Fridays and Saturday shows 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.. The cast includes some actors very familiar to San Diego theater fans, SRT Artistic Director Jill Drexler as Grandma Kurnitz, Katee Drysdale as Bella, Kenny Bordieri as Eddie, Eddy Lukovic as Louie, Melanie Mino as Gert, J.P. Wishchuk as Arty and Giovanny Diaz de Leon as Jay.

Neil Simon was raised in a Jewish family and drew on his own experiences growing up in New York City to create many of his plays. Lost in Yonkers is one of them. It is set in 1942 in Yonkers, New York, which was a predominantly Jewish community at the time. The play explores the experiences and struggles of Jewish immigrants and their children in America during this period, as is a coming-of-age story. The plot follows the story of two teenage brothers, Jay and Arty, who, after the death of their mother, are left to live with strict and stern grandma Kurnitz and her developmentally disabled daughter Bella.

The boys’ father, Eddie, is a traveling salesman, who is forced to leave his sons for 10 months, trying to save the family’s failing finances. The audience is invited to explore the world of their complex family dynamics.

“Real, honest and bursting with humor, it’s easy to see why Neil Simon has been called ‘the Shakespeare of his time,’” Director Jacquelyn Ritz, a multi-talented San Diego actor, director and educator, shared.

Overall, with its well-crafted story and engaging characters, Lost in Yonkers promises to be a thought-provoking and entertaining experience that will stay with audiences long after the final curtain call.

L'Chaim

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