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Lost in Yonkers
Posted by Gothampc 2012-12-11 17:47:47


I think it's time for a revival of Neil Simon's "Lost In Yonkers".

I'm thinking:

Judi Dench as the grandmother
Martha Plimpton as Bella
Jon Hamm as Louie

Who wants to produce this with me?

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by egghumor 2012-12-11 19:45:44


I've seen Broadway, regional, or amateur productions of 95% of Neil Simon's plays, and in my opinion, LOST IN YONKERS is his finest work.

I saw the pre-Broadway tryout tour of LOST IN YONKERS. Unfortunately, Mercedes Ruehl was out for the performance and Didi Conn played Bella. Much to my surprise, she was wonderful. I love, love, love that play!

Judi Dench would be amazing as the grandmother, but I think that must be a very draining role to play night after night.


Lost in Yonkers
Posted by dreaming 2012-12-11 20:35:43


Linda Lavin as the grandmother (she played Gert in the original and I think it would be interesting to see her take on the grandmother)
Nina Arianda as Bella-something tells me she'd be very good
Jon Hamm as Louie could work

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by Dollypop 2012-12-11 21:18:13


Lauren Klein played Gert in the original cast of LOST IN YONKERS.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by Rodgerdodger 2012-12-11 21:35:36


I approve of the idea of a revival, and Jon Hamm as Louie. Not sure who else I'd cast.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by GlindatheGood22 2012-12-11 22:37:03


I love this play. Haven't read it in years. I should probably get on that. The movie's pretty good, as well.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by Gothampc 2012-12-11 23:04:24


I think it's one of Simon's better works. The humorous parts come naturally whereas in some of the comedies his punchlines are telegraphed 5 minutes before the joke lands.

Is it his best? I can't say because I think "Barefoot in the Park" the "Suite" plays and "The Odd Couple" are also quite good.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by EponineAmneris 2012-12-12 11:53:29


I love this play and was priviledged to be able to see the OBC intact.

I agree with the opinion that this is Simon's finest work and would love to see a revival.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-12 12:24:50


love the idea of Nina Arianda as Bella
Janet Suzman as Grandma
Christopher Fitzgerald as Louie


Lost in Yonkers
Posted by newintown 2012-12-12 12:35:30


A question about marketing - if they couldn't get anyone to come see the revivals of Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, how will you get people to come see this?

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-12 12:40:51


If it's good, they'll come. If not, not.

You know... theater.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by SonofRobbieJ 2012-12-12 12:41:54


But didn't the Brighton Beach plays end up receiving very little marketing? I seem to remember at they time that there wasn't a particularly aggressive discount available, and that they weren't targeting groups in a major way...which is inconceivable to me. I may be wrong on this, but I believe that was the scuttlebutt at the time.

I saw this with Didi Conn (who was heartbreaking) on Broadway and thought it was really pretty emotionally naked and, yes...the the humor really seemed rooted in the action rather than just a bunch of gags piled on top of each other. And then I saw the movie and wanted the throw myself in front of a train.

I still think SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION is leagues better.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by newintown 2012-12-12 12:59:20


"If it's good, they'll come. If not, not."

Even Hayley Mills knows that's not true at all.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by darquegk 2012-12-12 13:03:06


One of my undergrad professors trashed Neil Simon constantly- "Sitcom humor and television drama have no place in legit theatre. You want to be entertained, fine, have some Neil Simon. But it's not theatre."

I was never more shocked than to hear that. Besides, without major forces like Neil Simon, we would HAVE no modern sitcom humor or television dramedy. Two and a Half Men may be widely derided, but at its finest moments (and it has had some, hence why even years after its prime and minus its biggest star it is still one of the top scripted programs) you could CLEARLY see the Neil Simon influence on its writing.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by SonofRobbieJ 2012-12-12 13:05:24


What a terrible teacher. Did you get any useful information out of someone like that?

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by newintown 2012-12-12 13:06:34


Pretentious fools like your professor are incapable of understanding the value and difficulty of good comedy.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by Gothampc 2012-12-12 21:08:36


newintown, I think the problem with the recent BBM revivals is that there just wasn't enough excitement built up for them. The only halfway known name was Laurie Metcalf as the mother and she wasn't enough of a draw to drop $100.

Now for Lost in Yonkers, if you advertise the return to Broadway of Judi Dench, the return of Martha Plimpton, and the debut of Jon Hamm, there could be enough buzz to get it off the ground. I would probably book it in one of the smaller theaters, maybe the Cort?, but I think it could have a decent six month run.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-12 21:17:18


Edie Falco would get a Tony playing Bella.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-12 21:17:27


With Dana Ivey opposite her.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by dreaming 2012-12-12 21:43:33


Edie Falco is about ten years too old to be Bella. Bella is still young enough to consider children (she talks about having them).

Dana Ivey as the grandmother I could go with. (Although I think a name known outside the theater might be necessary.)

I still think Nina Arianda would be a fascinating Bella. (Bella is the real center of the story in a lot of ways-she manages to get away and is a focal point of the story.)

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-12 21:46:08


I think onstage Falco could still do it.

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-13 00:51:44


Darque, I've heard of profs like yours, but thankfully never encountered any who tried to push their pretentious ideas on students (at least not so obviously...)

Neil Simon did start off writing tv comedy (The Phil Silver show is a pretty influential early sitcom), so I think he had some trouble shaking that "sitcom writer" mentality from critics, even back in the 60s. (Speaking of--has his first hit, Come Blow Your Horn ever been revived, or is it seen as too dated?) I'm not sure I agree with you about Two and a Half Men (Simon tries to have heart in even his lightest comedies...), but definitely he has influenced comedy writing greatly.

I do think Lost in Yonkers is by far one of his best, if not the best, of his more serious themed "comedies". Sometimes I find those hard to take--the worst example I've read (and seen) is The Gingerbread Lady, filmed as Only When I Laugh which I think is pretty much just awful, though the movie verges on camp.

Brighton Beach Memoirs' revival got very good reviews, didn't it? I do think they'd probably have to market Yonkers good, or have a hot name attached to it at least, to revive it right now (John Hamm is probably a big enough draw though if the production's good.)

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-13 00:53:59


(As for the movie, I think it's alright, but an example--for me--of a play that when opened up for a movie really isn't as effective.)

Lost in Yonkers
Posted by GlindatheGood22 2012-12-14 20:01:15


Just reread this yesterday because of this thread. Nina would be a great Bella. Too far out of the box to have Jackie Hoffman for Grandma?

"A horse stepped on her and she hasn't taken an aspirin yet!"