Brighton Beach Memoirs November 20, 21, and 22, 2014
The Highland Park High School drama club will present Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs November 20, 21, and 22, 2014 with performances beginning at 7:00 p.m. The cast and crew have been hard at work the past 10 weeks rehearsing, building, and promoting their full-scale, professional production. With just hours till opening night, excitement is in the air!
Directed by Keith T. Presty, music teacher and drama director for Highland Park Schools, Brighton Beach Memoirs is Neil Simon’s hilarious semi-autobiographical portrait of a Jewish-American family as seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old boy, Eugene Morris Jerome. In the post-depression, pre-war-era Brooklyn, the most pressing thoughts on the mind of Neil Simon’s protagonist are baseball and girls. Living with six other family members under one roof doesn’t afford young Eugene much privacy, but it does provide him with plenty of ammunition for his nascent career as a writer. In excerpts from his journal, he introduces his over-worked father, his under-appreciated mother, his comparatively–worldly older brother Stanley, his cousins Nora (the beautiful star-in-training) and Laurie (the pampered bookworm), and his widowed, asthmatic Aunt Blanche. The resulting coming-of-age story is an affectionate, thoroughly entertaining lesson in overcoming hard times with warmth, and humor.
Brighton Beach Memoirs is the first installment in Simon’s semi-autobiographical Eugene Jerome trilogy (which includes the plays Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound) and is one of America’s most cherished plays. Although it contains themes and language that may not be appropriate for younger viewers, The New York Daily News called the original New York production "...in many respects Neil Simon’s funniest, richest, and consequently the most affecting of his plays." The play originally opened on Broadway on March 27, 1983, at what would eventually be known as the Neil Simon Theatre. The production garnered a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play.
When the show is mounted by Highland Park Players it will feature a talented cast that includes Christopher Michael as Eugene Jerome, Jake Callahan as Stanley Jerome, Zenobia Murphy as Kate Jerome, Darcy Thompson Jack Jerome, Talia Sclafani as Aunt Blanch, Olivia Bridges as Cousin Nora, and Mackenzie Volpert as Cousin Laurie.
Highland Park High School will present Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs Thursday, November 20, Friday, November 21, and Saturday, November 22 at 7pm, in the Robert W. Stevens Auditorium located inside Highland Park High School. The school is located at 102 North 5th Avenue, Highland Park, 08904. To order tickets online visit www.hpdrama.org. Tickets will also be available at the door starting one-hour before each performance. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for students, seniors, and staff. The newly renovated theatre is wheelchair accessible. Brighton Beach Memoirs (Neil Simon) is presented through special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. *Due to some dialogue and subject matter, Brighton Beach Memoirs is intended for a mature audience.