July 12 – July 28
by Neil Simon
“Brighton Beach Memoirs” won the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Play. The New York Post called it Neil Simon’s “best play” saying “it will become a standard part of American dramatic literature.” It is the first of the playwright’s semi-autobiographical “B Plays.” Eugene is a 15 year old preoccupied with sex and the Yankees: a writer-to-be, an alternately perplexed and perceptive observer, and our guide to life with the Jerome family.
It is September 1937, late in the Depression, the Jeromes have relatives living with them, and life is by no means easy. There are troubles including illness, unemployment, poverty, deep resentments and foreboding signs of World War II. Yet the family meets challenges with enormous spirit, dignity, and vigor that life—at once humorous, and poignant—is something to celebrate. The play will be directed by Oldcastle Artistic Associate, Nathan Stith who, last season directed “The Almost True and Truly Remarkable Adventures of Israel Potter”. Stith teaches at Trinity University in San Antonio and this is the beginning of a collaboration between the theatre and the university. Two students from Trinity will join Stith; Karen Herink, who will play 13 year old Laurie, and Alexandra Parris who will serve as Assistant to the Stage Manager.
Oldcastle presented “Broadway Bound” another of Simon’s plays in his trilogy and some of the cast members from that production will again portray members of the Jerome family. Sarah Corey who won raves from audiences and critics playing Kate, matriarch of the family will return as will Anthony Ingargiola who played Eugene in the earlier production but this time will play his older brother, Stan. The cast will also include Eli Ganais, familiar to area audiences for his performances in “Moonlight and Magnolias” and “Talley’s Folly.”