Parker's Bella is a glowing light at the heart of this play — the spirited and, in its own way, spiritual center. Boghigian's puffed-up hoodlum is amusingly energized, but we suspect that the character might deflate at the next bump, never mind survive a hard-knock life like hers. Her sister, Gert (Tray Gearing), eventually shows up briefly, so Simon can insert a bit of pertinent humor (she has a breathing problem that sounds funny and occurs mostly when she's visiting Grandma).

The portrayal that was problematical for me was the pivotal one of Grandma herself, which Faber and director Mark Peckham present as an all-but impregnable dragon lady. Her single moment of vulnerability is toward the end, when she breaks into tears briefly, reminded of the deaths of two of her children. As a payoff it's rather stingy. We might care more if we'd glimpsed some humanity earlier, perhaps with her softening when she cautioned about the futility of dreams — before immediately hardening over, of course.

Simon often went for easy laughs in his other work, but in Lost In Yonkers he made some hard, honest choices.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Theater , Joe Henderson, 2nd Story Theatre, 2nd story,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MEN AT WORK  |  April 16, 2014
    The Pulitzer Prize Board, which likes to honor theatrical gems of Americana, may have been remiss in not nominating David Rabe’s 1984 ' Hurlyburly .'
  •   SEARCHING FOR CLUES  |  April 09, 2014
    A "girl detective" makes her  world premiere.
  •   ROSE-COLORED MEMORIES  |  April 09, 2014
    Incessant media accounts of horrific events can prompt compassion fatigue.
  •   MENTAL SHRAPNEL  |  April 02, 2014
    Brave or foolhardy? The Wilbury Theatre Group is presenting Sarah Kane’s controversial Blasted , a 1995 play that at the time was decried as juvenile, taken to the woodshed by critics, and flayed to shreds.
  •   A ROWDY ROMP  |  March 26, 2014
    In his time, Georges Feydeau was to theater what McDonald’s is to cuisine — cheap, easy to consume, and wildly popular.

 See all articles by: BILL RODRIGUEZ