BWW Review: BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS at Alhambra Theatre And Dining
Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs began performances September 18, and audiences are thoroughly enjoying it! The play follows the Jerome/Morton family living in Brighton Beach in 1937. Our narrator is Eugene Jerome (Evan Gray), who addresses the audience to fill us in on gaps we may not know. We follow multiple stories within this family that are captivating and filled with humor and emotion.
The actors were all fantastic and had excellent chemistry with one another. I felt they truly resembled a complicated family. Eugene Jerome (Evan Gray), our narrator, was outstanding. He was absolutely hysterical and provided much of the comedic relief when subjects became heavy. The chemistry he has with his older brother, Stanley Jerome (Cameron Hale Elliott), was a great portrayal of a brotherly relationship. Elliott was a great actor, period. He performed with so much emotion and depth. Another notable character in the Jerome family is the mother, Kate Jerome (Hillary Hickam). If I had to pick someone to portray a housewife during this time, it is Hickam. She performed as a woman doing her best to keep it all together and hide any stress she may be feeling from her family. She bottled up all her feelings and when she finally exploded, she exploded with so much emotion and sorrow. It was perfect. Kate Jerome's younger sister, Blanche Morton (Stacey Harris), had the perfect sister chemistry with Hickam. Harris played the doting younger sister so well! Her daughters, Nora Morton (Kelly Wolfe) and Laurie Morton (Emma Decker) were also wonderful! Wolfe played the rebellious 16-year-old with big dreams perfectly. When she could finally convey her feelings to her mother (Harris), it was so moving and heartbreaking at the same time. Decker was just the sweetest little actress. I loved her snarky comments to everyone. I loved that she got away with it every time even more. The character that tied the entire family together was Jack Jerome (Robert Herrle). Herrle was very levelheaded through any obstacle that came his way. He ran the household and wanted to handle everyone's problems for them. Every character had great chemistry with Herrle, whether as a son, niece, sister-in-law, or wife.
The set was also very impressive. Anyone who has been to Alhambra has seen the amazing things they can do with the limited space they have. This was no different. They were able to turn the stage into a two-story home with a living room, two bedrooms, a dining room, and a little front porch.
Overall, Brighton Beach Memoirs is a wonderful show filled with humor, emotion, and relatable relationships. Performances are now through October 13.