On the Main Stage at the Prescott Center for the Arts is Neil Simon’s popular and much awarded play “Lost on Yonkers,” a drama with humor about a dysfunctional family. Set in 1942, the play is full of vivid characters and family secrets. At the center of the action are Arty, played by Asa Dougherty and Jay, Duncan Calhoun (a PCA regular), two boys who find themselves moving in with their scary grandmother and almost unknown Aunt Bella in Yonkers (i.e. the sticks.) In addition they get to know their Uncle Louie and Aunt Gert.
The action revolves around their interactions with the elderly, stern and unbending family matriarch, portrayed by Louise von Schill, a German Jewish immigrant with a damaged leg and a steely intolerance for human frailty.
In this PCA production, ably directed by James Pyduck, each character has room to grow and become real. One of the central characters is Aunt Bella. Robyn Allen portrays her with a great deal of humor and nuance. Under the thumb of her domineering mother, she appears to be somewhat childlike, but nevertheless refuses to give up in her quest to find happiness. Uncle Louie, veteran actor Jonathan Perpich, a grown up juvenile delinquent, lives a mysterious life on the edges of the criminal underworld. When he gets into trouble he finds himself hiding out at his mother’s house where he imparts his somewhat skewed wisdom to his two nephews. The third remaining sibling, Gert, played by Nancy Dunham, has a charming role as an excitable but independent character. Ron Bowen, as Eddie, the boys’ father, plays a man struggling to keep his own family on an even keel amid the turbulence. Knowing the faults of his mother and siblings he must trust his boys’ ability to come through.
As usual, the production values are excellent. The set, the music, the costumes and the lighting work together to bring us to a small apartment above a sweet shop at the beginning of U. S. involvement in WWII.
Playwright Neil Simon received many awards and accolades for his work on this play. It was made into a movie, which was critically esteemed, but not as popular as the Broadway production.
If You Go:
What: Lost in Yonkers
When: January 25-February 4
Evening Shows: 7:30 on January 25, 26, 27, February 1, 2, 3
Matinees: 2 PM January 28, February 3, 4
Where: Prescott Center for the Arts, 208 N. Marina Street
Cost: $15-20 for evening performances, $12-16 for Matinees
To purchase tickets: Go online to pca-az.net or call the box office at (928) 445-3286