Lost in Yonkers: coming-of-age Pulitzer Prize-winner on stage
Limelight Theatre presents
Lost in Yonkers: coming-of-age Pulitzer Prize-winner on stage

26 Sep 2013 to 12 Oct 2013

GET ready to open a window into the past and journey into yesteryear with a Pulitzer Prize-winning play at Limelight Theatre this spring.

Written by Neil Simon and directed by Alida Chaney, Lost in Yonkers is a coming-of-age tale about a dysfunctional German-Jewish family in World War II.

Set in Yonkers, New York, two young boys are left with their tyrannical grandmother while their father goes away to earn money to pay a loan shark.

Their mentally-challenged Aunt Bella also lives in the house and is delighted her nephews have come to stay – meanwhile, their Uncle Louie collects dirty money for The Mob.

In addition to winning the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Lost in Yonkers also scored the Drama Desk Award for Best New Play and four Tony Awards the same year.

A 1993 film adaptation featured Richard Dreyfuss and Mercedes Ruehl.

The playwright is also famous for The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, Sweet Charity, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers and Biloxi Blues, among many others.

“Neil Simon's writing and wit are second to none,” Chaney said. “Lost in Yonkers is described as a comic drama, which I think sums it up rather well.

“I saw this play in the UK and remember it vividly left an indelible impression on me.

“I wanted to play the character of Bella but sadly never got an opportunity – but when a friend suggested directing it, I thought ‘Why not?’”

First stepping up to the stage as an 11-year-old in Oliver, Chaney has a wealth of stage credits to her name and has performed with a variety of theatres including Limelight, Playlovers, Garrick and Stirling Theatres since arriving in Perth 14 years ago.

She was named best female actor at the 2010 Limelight Theatre awards for her role in Lucky Sods and most recently performed with the Graduate Dramatic Society in The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea.

Performing is never far away from Chaney – she also teaches musical theatre at the WA Stage School, Hype Dance Academy and Perth Youth Theatre, along with being a Happy Feet instructor delivering fitness and educational programs for children in day care facilities.

Lost in Yonkers is the first play I’ve directed,” Chaney said. “I previously directed two musicals (Blood Brothers and The Rink) where you always have other people around to consult, such as the musical director and choreographer, so you don’t feel it’s all your responsibility.

“But I’m fortunate to have a truly wonderful cast who are very forgiving if I show any ineptitude.

“I have a vision firmly set in my mind of what I’m trying to portray with this play and it’s now up to my cast and I to bring it to life.”

Lost in Yonkers plays at 8pm, September 26, 27, 28, October 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 – tickets are $20 adults, $17 concession.

Book on 9571 8591 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday, or online at www.limelighttheatre.com.

Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.

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