Coming of Age in the Depression
Brighton Beach Memoirs just folded on Broadway after a one-week run, despite glowing reviews from the New York Times, the New Yorker, and every other big publication. It seems ticket sales were appalling, which is somehow appropriate for a semi-autobiographical Neil Simon play set in 1937. That year, the economy fell back into the dumper after a period of recovery. Amid the 14 percent unemployment of the time, we join the Jerome family in Brighton Beach, a working-class section of New York. The 14-year-old son, Eugene, is coming of age with all the attendant excitements: he wants to be a baseball player or a writer; hes starting to like girls; and he looks up to his brother, who gives him the scoop on wet dreams. Eugenes hormones are boiling at the same time that his family is being buffeted by misfortune. But Brighton Beach Memoirs is full of steely Americans who deal in wit and one-liners. So theres not much thats depressing about this comedy set in the Depression. What Broadway lost to low sales, South Florida is gaining at the Lake Worth Playhouse (713 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth) when the play opens tonight at 8 and runs through December 13. Tickets cost $25 to $36. Call 561-586-6410, or visit lakeworthplayhouse.org.
Fri., Nov. 20, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays; Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 20. Continues through Dec. 13, 2009
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