“BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS”
TO PROMIS WIT,
WARMTH AND SIMON'S SIGNATURE LAUGHS
Critically Acclaimed Theatre Company to Open Neil Simon’s
Kelsey Theatre October 3, 2008
West Windsor, NJ (August 13, 2008) – On the heels of receiving 17 Perry Award nominations for various outstanding achievements in community theatre, Maurer Productions OnStage (www.mponstage.com) looks to continue the success with its upcoming production of Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs at Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre October 3-12, 2008. A public reception, with an opportunity to meet the cast and crew, will be held on opening night.
Directed by Alycia Bauch-Cantor of Ewing, Brighton Beach Memoirs is Simon’s hilarious semi-autobiographical portrait of a Jewish-American family as seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old boy, Eugene Morris Jerome. In the post-depression, pre-war-era Brooklyn, the most pressing thoughts on the mind of Neil Simon’s protagonist are baseball and girls. Living with six other family members under one roof doesn’t afford young Eugene much privacy, but it does provide him with plenty of ammunition for his nascent career as a writer. In excerpts from his journal, he introduces his over-worked father, his under-appreciated mother, his comparatively–worldly older brother Stanley, his cousins Nora (the beautiful star-in-training) and Laurie (the pampered bookworm), and his widowed, asthmatic Aunt Blanche. The resulting coming-of-age story is an affectionate, thoroughly entertaining lesson in overcoming hard times with warmth, and humor.
The show’s producers – John, Diana and Dan Maurer -- are no strangers to the comedy-drama genre. Their recent production of Driving Miss Daisy, directed by Dan Maurer of Robbinsville, was just recognized by NJACT (New Jersey Association of Community Theaters) with nine Perry Award nominations, including one for Outstanding Production of a Play. This came on top of the group’s eight nominations for its musical production of Singin’ in the Rain, directed by John Maurer of Ewing. Brighton Beach Memoirs director Alycia Bauch-Cantor believes the Simon comedy-drama will keep the good karma going.
“I’m really excited to be directing Brighton Beach Memoirs,” Bauch-Cantor said. “I think it’s the perfect follow-up to Driving Miss Daisy. The two shows share the same quality writing, laughs that come from truth, and characters that stay with you. Like Daisy, Brighton Beach Memoirs is a lot of fun, but it also delivers a lot a meaning.”
Bauch-Cantor, who helmed last season’s visually stunning production of The Emperor’s New Clothes, also designed the props and set dressing for Driving Miss Daisy, work that has lead to her own Perry Award nomination for Outstanding Properties.
Brighton Beach Memoirs is the first installment in Simon’s semi-autobiographical Eugene Jerome trilogy (which includes the plays Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound) and is one of America’s most cherished plays. Although it contains themes and language which may not be appropriate for younger viewers, The New York Daily News called the original New York production “...in many respects Neil Simon’s funniest, richest, and consequently the most affecting of his plays.” The play originally opened on Broadway on March 27, 1983, at what would eventually be known as the Neil Simon Theatre. The production garnered a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play.
When the show is mounted by Maurer Production OnStage it will feature a talented cast that includes Dominick Sannelli of Levittown, PA as Eugene Jerome, Robert Fisher of Chesterfield, NJ as Stanley Jerome, Jennifer DeVenio of Monroe Township, NJ as Kate Jerome, James Houston of Bound Brook, NJ as Jack Jerome, Leta Brehme of Yardley, PA as Aunt Blanch, Kristin Bennett of Montville, NJ (a student of The College of New Jersey) as Cousin Nora, and Delia Bannon of Princeton, NJ as Cousin Laurie.
Maurer Productions OnStage will present Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs Friday, October 3rd and 10th at 8pm, Saturday, October 4th and 11th at 8pm, Sunday, October 5th and 12th, at 2pm in the Kelsey Theatre on the West Windsor Campus of Mercer County Community College. The theatre is located on the college's West Windsor Campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road. Free parking is available next to the theatre. To order tickets, go online at www.kelseyatmccc.org, call 609-570-3333, or stop by the Kelsey Theatre Box Office. Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for students and children. The Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices upon request. More information about this production of Brighton Beach Memoirs can be found online at www.mponstage.com.
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