LOST IN YONKERS Opens at Village Players on Jan.13, originally uploaded by FatherDalton.
Lost in Yonkers, which opens at the Village Players Playhouse in Birmingham on Friday, January 13, has no bad luck attached to it. It was the only play by Neil Simon to win both a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize. And it was designated by the New York Post as “the best play Simon ever wrote.”
If there has ever been a play that meets the description of “giving its audience both laughter and tears,” this is it. Two teen-age boys are forced to live with their tyrannical grandmother in her emotionally dysfunctional household at the beginning of World War II.
Playing the pivotal roles of the boys are sixteen-year-old Nathan Willey and twelve-year-old Sam Slocum. Both are experienced performers, however. Sam has even earned his SAG and AFTRA cards from appearing in a variety of films and commercials since 2007. Nathan has his eyes set on a musical theater college degree, hopefully at the U. of M. Nathan, a Bingham Farms resident, is a junior at Groves H.S. Sam is a 7th grader at Cranbrook. He lives in Bloomfield Twp.
“When I read the script of Lost in Yonkers, I realized that we had to get really superior young actors for the roles of the boys,” says Joan Reddy, who plays the tyrannical grandmother. “And we got them!” Reddy looks on the two young actors as her leading men. “They’re certainly on the stage a lot more than I!”
But even with fewer lines than the boys, Reddy is delighted with the role of the grandmother. “There are not that many roles for a woman my age (77), and this one is a plum,” she says.
A member of Village Players since 1977, Reddy is a retired Bimingham Schools elementary school secretary and lives in Bloomfield Twp.
Set in their home over their candy store, the play introduces the audience to the rest of the dysfunctional family; a small-time gangster, a mentally challenged daughter, and two other children who live in fear of Grandma.
The gangster son is played by Marc Rosati of Livonia who has had major roles in Village Players productions these past few years. He gives tribute to his fellow actors in this production. “It’s great to be back at VP sharing the stage with such a great bunch of actors!”
Prominent among that bunch of actors is Cathie Badalamenti who plays the mentally challenged daughter. The daughter has the mental and emotional abilities of a child. But, as she notes during the play, she is also very wise.
The play opens for two week-ends on Jan13.
Tickets may be purchased for $17 at 248-644-2075 or www.birminghamvillageplayers.