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Broadway and TV Veteran Rosemary Prinz To Star In LOST IN YONKERS At Cleveland Playhouse

Rosemary Prinz, a veteran of Broadway and the CBS daytime drama As the World Turns, leads the cast in The Cleveland Play House production of Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play, Lost in Yonkers is a touching and hilarious coming of age story and a very eccentric family. Set in Yonkers, New York, in 1942, the play focuses on two Young Brothers, Arty and Jay, left in the care of their feuding relatives, Grandma Kurnitz (played by Prinz) and Aunt Bella. Directed by Play House Artistic Director Michael Bloom, Lost in Yonkers begins in the Drury Theatre at The Cleveland Play House on Friday, January 8 and runs through Sunday, January 31, 2010. Tickets are available at The Cleveland Play House box office by calling 216.795.7000 ext 4 or online at Lost in Yonkers is presented with support from Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and Premiere Printing Corporation. Generous support also provided by The Meisel Family Foundation and Scott Zeilinger and Family.

"This is Neil Simon's best play. It's an uncanny blend of character comedy and heartfelt family drama," said Michael Bloom, the play's director and Artistic Director of The Cleveland Play House. The play is a co-production with Maltz Jupiter Theatre and Paper Mill Playhouse.

Lost in Yonkers is Neil Simon's touching story of an eccentric New York family in crisis in the summer of 1942. On the run from a loan shark, a frightened and weak-willed father leaves his two teenage boys, Jay and Arty, with their domineering grandmother who runs a candy store in Yonkers. The effect of the old woman's tyranny over two generations of offspring becomes evident as she coldheartedly attempts to control not only their lives but also that of her mentally challenged middle-aged daughter, Bella, who desperately yearns for love and independence. The boys are forced to live by their stern grandmother's rules until their gangster uncle, Louie, comes to town one night and goes into hiding in the family home. Uncle Louie ends up helping both the boys and Bella understand their aging grandmother and realize the importance of acceptance and love, despite the hardship of life in Yonkers.

America's most successful comic playwright, Neil Simon has had 37 of his plays produced on Broadway and nearly as many major motion pictures produced. He has been showered with more Academy and Tony Award nominations than any other writer, and is the only playwright to have four Broadway productions running simultaneously. His plays have been produced in dozens of languages, and have been blockbuster hits from Beijing to Moscow.

Born in the Bronx on July 4, 1927, Marvin Neil Simon grew up in Manhattan and for a short time attended NYU and the University of Denver. His most significant writing job came in the early 1950s when he joined the staff of "Your Show of Shows," a landmark live television comedy series. Sid Caesar's hilarious ground-breaking program boasted some of the best comic minds in television, including Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Larry Gelbart, and Carl Reiner. By the 1960s, Simon had begun to concentrate on writing plays for Broadway. His first hit came in 1961 with Come Blow Your Horn, and was soon after followed by the very successful Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple.

Throughout his four-decade career, Simon has drawn extensively on his own life and experience as material for his work, many of which take place in the working-class New York neighborhoods he knew so well as a child. One of Simon's great achievements has been the insightful representation of the social atmosphere of those post-war times in New York. With his autobiographical trilogy, Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983), Biloxi Blues (1985), and Broadway Bound (1986), Simon created a touching portrait of an individual, his family and the world around them. With these plays, Simon found his greatest critical acclaim, and for his 1991 follow-up, Lost in Yonkers, Simon was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Maxwell Beer (Arty) - Maxwell is thrilled to make his professional theatre debut. His regional theatre credits include: 13 (Evan Goldman), Les Misérables (Gavroche), Pete's Dragon (Pete), Newsies (Jack Kelly). Film: Kidz Bop (Jason), The Lunchroom (Bobby).

Patricia Buckley (Gert) - Patricia Buckley's theatre credits include international: Gams on the Lam (U.S., Latin America and Europe Tour) K De Calle (Spain Tour). Off-Broadway: Flesh and Blood (New?York Theatre Workshop), Evolution (Interart), Hitting The Wall (SPF, Clurman Theatre), Those Who Can, Do (Clubbed Thumb), Moliere's Shorts (Actors Shakespeare Company). Regional: The Heidi Chronicles (Berkshire Theatre Festival), Twelfth Night, The Three Musketeers (Theatre de la Jeune Lune), Yangs Zen Frogs (La Jolla Playhouse), Lost in Yonkers (Coconut Grove Playhouse, Walnut Street Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing, Out of Sterno (Portland Stage Company). Film and TV: Law & Order (NBC), Kabluey (Sony), Death of A President (Channel 4/Film 4-2008 International Critics' Prize), Anna Is Being Stalked, The Delicious (Sundance Channel).

Anthony Crane (Louie) - Anthony Crane most recently performed in Michael Weller's 50 Words at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. Broadway: Sight Unseen at Manhattan Theatre Club and Butley with Nathan Lane. Off-Broadway: Modern Orthodox, Relativity at Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Brothers Karamazov. Regional: Absalom at Humana, Farragut North at the Contemporary American Theater Festival, Sight Unseen at Old Globe, All My Sons at Two River, and as Lancelot, et al in Monty Python's Spamalot at Wynn Las Vegas. Also: Our Country's Good, The Recruiting Officer, Twelfth Night, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, The Glass Menagerie, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Closer, and The Scarecrow. TV: Life on Mars, Ugly Betty, The Practice, Third Watch, JAG, Six Degrees, Frasier, CSI and as the series lead in USA's The Big Easy. Film: In Praise of Shadows, March, SimOne, Dying on The Edge, Bite. He is a graduate of Northwestern University in Theatre.

John Plumpis (Eddie) - John Plumpis' theatre credits include National Tours: The Lion King; Barrymore, starring Christopher Plummer; Laughter on The 23rd Floor. New York: The Actors Company Theatre (company member); New York Music Theatre Festival; Primary Stages; Mint; Northeastern Co. Regional: Portland Center Stage; Yale Rep; Shakespeare Theatre Company; University of Delaware REP; Mason Street Warehouse; Capital Rep; Missouri Rep; PlayMakers Rep; North Carolina Theatre; Merrimack Rep; Shakespeare festivals nationwide. Television: Law and Order: SVU, 7th Heaven; One Life to Live, Another World, Guiding Light. Training: MFA, University of Delaware. Teaching: Workshops at more than 50 universities. His lecture "Stories Make The World" was published in Northwest Theatre Review.

Rosemary Prinz (Grandma) - Rosemary has starred on Broadway, Off-Broadway and across the country in national tours, regional theaters and summer theaters in more than 300 productions in her long stage career, which began at the age of 16 touring with Diana Barrymore in Joan of Lorraine. It was as Penny Hughes on TV's As the World Turns, which she played for 12 years, that she first gained national prominence. During this time she starred all over the country in such plays as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Twigs, Same Time, Next Year, Two for the Seesaw, Absurd Person Singular and I Do! I Do! She is most proud of her work at major regional theaters, including Steppenwolf Theatre Co., Alabama Shakespeare Festival, American Shaw Festival, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Rep, Philadelphia Drama Guild, Circle Rep, Buffalo Studio Arena, St Louis Rep, Theatreworks, Alley Theatre, Portland Stage, Pittsburgh Public, La Jolla Playhouse and the Humana Festival at Louisville. Known for her versatility, she has played roles as diverse as Mary Tyrone in Long Day's Journey Into Night, Desiree in A Little Night Music, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, Linda in Death of a Salesman, and Amanda in six different productions of The Glass Menagerie, including a cultural exchange in which she performed the role in Japan. Other regional credits include A Delicate Balance, Death of a Salesman, All My Sons, Road to Mecca, The Cocktail Hour, Buried Child, Painting Churches, The Model Apartment, Kimberly Akimbo, Three Viewings, Last Lists of My Mad Mother, A Perfect Ganesh, Love Letters, Mama Rose in Gypsy and four productions of Master Class. She starred in the national companies of Driving Miss Daisy, California Suite, Land of the Red Hot Lovers and The Apple Tree, and co-starred with Art Carney in Chicago in Prisoner of Second Avenue, which she later played on Broadway with Gabriel Dell. Also on Broadway, she has appeared in George Abbott's revival of Three Men on a Horse, Grey-Eyed People with Walter Matthau, Tonight in Samarkand with Louis Jourdan, Late Love and opposite Jack Lemmon in Tribute. She completed two years in the Off-Broadway hit Steel Magnolia's where she created the role of M'Lynn and also appeared in a one-woman show based on the poems and letters of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Her movie The Bread, My Sweet, co-starring Scott Baio, is now available on DVD. She appeared in Purple Heart at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, then traveled with the play to the Galway Arts Festival in Ireland. Her most recent performance was as Volumnia in Coriolanus at the Georgia Shakespeare Festival.

Sara Surrey (Bella) - Sara Surrey's theatre credits include New York: Workshop: A Free Man of Color, Lincoln Center; Where We're Born and Five Flights, Rattlestick Theatre; Secret Agenda of Trees, Cherry Lane Theater; Where's My Money?, Manhattan Theatre Club. Regional: The Dining Room, Dorset Theater Festival; Antony & Cleopatra, The Old Globe; Anna Christie, Arena Stage; The Black Dahlia, Yale Repertory Theatre; The Archbishop's Ceiling, Westport Country Playhouse; Hay Fever, Baltimore Center Stage; Three Days of Rain, Studio Arena Theatre; Arcadia, Portland Stage Company. Film/TV: Staten Island; Law & Order: Criminal Intent; Guiding Light; The Job; Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. Training: MFA, New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Alex Wyse (Jay) - Alex, a Beachwood native, is thrilled to return home to be a part of Lost in Yonkers. New York City: Bill Russell and Peter Melnick's The Last Smoker in America (New York Music Theatre Festival), Mrs. Sharp at Playwrights Horizons alongside Jane Krakowski, directed by Michael Greif. Regional: Speech & Debate (Elliot Norton Award for Best Production, Best Ensemble Nominee), The Cherry Orchard, Our Town, The Lion in Winter, Urinetown, Gypsy, She Loves Me, Lord of the Flies, Summer of '42. TV: Quality Time With the Keenes, Kid Concoctions, Handel's Messiah Rocks.

LOST IN YONKERS Creative Team:
Neil Simon (Playwright) - Simon was raised in the Bronx and studied at New York University before working as a comedy writer for various television shows in the late 1940s and throughout the '50s. His autobiographical play Come Blow Your Horn became a smash success on Broadway and ran for two years after opening in 1961. The plays that followed proved extremely popular with audiences and typically saw long runs on Broadway. They include Barefoot in the Park (1963; film 1967), The Odd Couple (1965; film 1968), The Star-Spangled Girl (1966; film 1971), Plaza Suite (1968; film 1971), Last of the Red Hot Lovers (1969; film 1972), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1971; film 1975), The Sunshine Boys (1972; film 1975), California Suite (1976; film 1978), Chapter Two (1977; film 1979), I Ought to Be in Pictures (1980; film 1982), and a trilogy of autobiographical plays consisting of Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983; film 1986), Biloxi Blues (1985; film 1988), and Broadway Bound (1986; television movie 1992). Subsequent plays include Rumors (1988), Lost in Yonkers (1991; film 1993), and The Dinner Party (2000). Simon wrote the screenplays for motion-picture adaptations of his plays as well as screenplays for a number of original motion pictures. He also wrote the books for musicals, including Little Me (1962), Sweet Charity (1966), Promises, Promises (1968), They're Playing Our Song (1979), and The Goodbye Girl (1993).

Michael Bloom (Director) - As eighth Artistic Director of The Cleveland Play House, Michael Bloom has directed Thornton Wilder's Heaven's My Destination, The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Rabbit Hole and Well. Other productions include the world premieres of Dinner With Friends (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and Sight Unseen (South Coast Rep, Berkeley Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club, Drama Desk nomination). He also has directed at American Repertory Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Old Globe Theatre, Seattle Rep, Kansas City Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Alliance Theatre Company and Long Wharf Theatre, and in Tokyo at Aoyama Theatre and Theatre Cocoon. His book Thinking Like a Director was published by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux in 2001.

The design team for Lost in Yonkers includes Michael Schweikhardt (Scenic Designer), David Kay Mickelsen (Costume Design), Paul Miller (Lighting Designer) and Keith Kohrs (Sound Design).

Tickets for Lost in Yonkers range from $45 to $65, with discounts available for groups of ten or more, for senior citizens aged 60 and over, and for military reservists and their families. Tickets are $10 for all students under the age of 25. A limited number of $10 rush tickets go on sale 90 minutes before curtain and remain on sale until 30 minutes before curtain, based on availability. The Cleveland Play House is located at 85th and Euclid Ave. next door to the Cleveland Clinic near University Circle.

Founded in 1915, The Cleveland Play House is the first permanently established professional theatre in the United States. More than 12 million people have attended over 1,300 productions at The Play House - including more than 130 American and/or World Premieres. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Bloom and Managing Director Kevin Moore, The Cleveland Play House is an artist-driven theatre that serves the Greater Cleveland community by holding true to its mission: To produce plays of the highest professional standards that inspire, stimulate, and entertain our diverse audiences, to conduct training and educational programs that enhance the quality of life for those we serve and help to insure the future of theatre.

The Cleveland Play House is funded through the generosity of Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and The Ohio Arts Council helps to fund The Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

In six yea¬rs, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre (MJT) has become one of Florida's preeminent professional theatres, committed to performance, production and education through its collaborations with local and national artists. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Andrew Kato and Managing Director Tricia Trimble, as well as a dedicated Board and staff, MJT has received multiple Carbonell Awards, South Florida's highest honor for artistic excellence, and has increased its subscription base to more than 7,100. The Theatre recently built world-class facilities in support of its Conservatory of Performing Arts, which serves hundreds of students in after-school, weekend and summer programs. After receiving a prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund grant, the Theatre created the Emerging Artists Series in Musical Theatre Playwriting. Through this new program, the Theatre developed the musical Academy for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it won the Daego International Musical Festival Production Award. Under this program, the Theatre also commissioned the world premiere of Fanny Brice: The Real Funny Girl.

Paper Mill Playhouse, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theatres. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional major support is provided by generous contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

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