Thoughts from our audiences….

Becky here…We’ve asked our audiences for feedback on their expereinces seeing Lost in Yonkers and there’s a few excerpts below. We’d love to hear from you too! Post a comment to the blog and share your own thoughts.

“It was a wonderful night at the theater for my wife, our 15-year-old son, and for me. It’s hard to believe that such a quality performance can be had at such a reasonable price. The intimacy of the theater is one strong point that will keep up coming back. I have missed some productions in past years but hope to attend more regularly from this point on. Being able to get the tickets at the preview price was an added bonus, although the quality of the production would have made it a steal at even the full price.

Thanks for putting on a show such as this. It was amusing to learn that Brighton Beach closed last week on Broadway after a seven-day run. Things might have been different if the J-team had been involved!”
– Theater J patron, C Sachs

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“We loved Lost in Yonkers. I took my teen daughter, I want to introduce her to theater. We saw Zero Hour the month before. She has really enjoyed the shows and I am grateful there are entertaining, high quality shows that I can take her to.

(Re: Lost inYonkers) we talked about how the playwright builds suspense, how the grandsons, son and daughter talk about the grandmother before we actually see her. Ho this develops her as a character. These techniques are not usually exercised in pop culture (TV) and bc my teen is totally wired to instant messaging, web surfing and immediate gratification, she is seeing an art form she doesn’t get much exposure to. (This concerns me about her generation!).

She studied the McCarthy era and immigration in school, so the Zero Hour really was relevant to what she learned. I remember Zero Mostel from my childhood (A Funny thing happened on the way to the Forum), but was not aware of the his political activities or appearances before the committee for unamerican activities. It was a learning experience for me as well.

We enjoyed both plays immensely. I saw other parents there with their teens. It really is a wonderful family experience and Theater J features shows that raise issues that we as a society should talk about. And then there are the shows that are just good entertainment.

Thank you again, we look forward to attending more shows.”
– Theater J patron

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” Four of us came to see Lost in Yonkers together. We thought the play was tremendous and we always enjoy coming to see the plays at the DCJCC ”
– Patron

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Wonderful First Day of Rehearsal for Lost in Yonkers!

I haven’ wept so hard at a read-through in years. I wept for the comedy. I wept for the joy (of casting this thing so well). I wept for sadness surrounding and invading their lives. All the topical hardships.

notes to follow. here’s just the beginning:

Our season was born out of a recognition that we live in a more starkly partisan society than ever, and that we crave unity, and healing, and common footing as a community more than ever.

So what are the stories that will bring us together?

What are the stories that we need to hear when we’re blue? Or when we can’t see the light. Or when we can’t see other people’s suffering because we’re so wrapped up in our own?

If times of affluence and ascendancy, a theater’s function may be to prick the conscience and open the blind eyes of denial.

In times of anxiety and descent, our purpose could indeed be exactly the same. But our strategies for opening the hearts of our audience and causing the scales to drop from our eyes may be radically different.

And so we’ve done something radically different here in saying yes to LOST IN YONKERS.

We’ve gone and searched for a show that will lifts us up and still keep us trained to the anguish we are at once dealing with and trying to rise above.

We went looking for AWAKE AND SING – the perfect play for a Great Recession as much as it was for the Great Depression of Clifford Odets and the Group Theatre’s day.

But a definitive, quite Jewish production of the play was done in 2006 at Arena Stage that still lingered dearly in the mind. We needed to reach out to another play with deep roots.

And so we found a play about family. About war and fear and tyranny in the home and economic deprivation.

We came upon LOST IN YONKERS.

It would be our AWAKE AND SING…

An American Tale for a new version of the immigrant family – spread out but forced to live under a single roof.

It’s a play by the most successful contemporary living American playwright. And it’s his most highly regarded, richly rewarded play. Even though it never got a rave from the respective papers of record in New York or DC.

Neil Simon hasn’t needed much championing from us. but we make the case for him just the same with this production

As this is 21st century Simon: What’s changing isn’t so much our approach to his text, but the CONtext surrounding the play.
We’ve changed and we are ready to receive this play in new ways.

Here are staff perspectives on the play (to be continued…. together with my own personal associations witht the character of Bellla)

but as i said… more soon…