FIRST LOOK: Staged Readings of BILOXI BLUES by Neil Simon, 8/29 & 8/30
Sister community theater groups Kentwood Players and Theatre Palisades are working in tandem this summer to present all three plays in Neil Simon's Eugene Trilogy, beginning with "Brighton Beach Memoirs" by Kentwood Players from July 10 through August 15, the just added staged readings of "Biloxi Blues" at Theatre Palisades on Saturday, August 29 at 8pm and by Kentwood Players on Sunday, August 30 at 7pm, and ending with "Broadway Bound" at Theatre Palisades from September 4 through October 11, 2015.
Neil Simon is a legendary, award-winning figure in American Theater. His plays have been performed worldwide and adapted for film and television, as well as being translated into the language of sitcoms and other foreign tongues. "Brighton Beach Memoirs", "Biloxi Blues" and "Broadway Bound" form a trilogy on mid-20th Century American life, crafted out of Simon's early years as a kid, teenager, and young adult.
The two staged readings of "Biloxi Blues" were added at both theaters due to popular demand from audiences and members who wanted to see all three Eugene Trilogy plays in the chronological order they take place, showing Eugene's life from his teenage years with his family in Brighton Beach during the height of the Depression in 1937, through his eye-opening stint in the Army during World War II, and ending with Eugene and his older brother Stanley returning to their family home after the war and attempting to break into the world of show business as professional comedy writers.
"Biloxi Blues" is set at an Army basic training camp in beautiful Biloxi, Mississippi in the dog days of summer 1943. Six raw, young recruits learn to BE ARMY and in the process learn more than they could have imagined about themselves, each other, and the war-torn world they are about to enter. This hilarious coming-of-age story about a naïve Jewish boy from New York City has its darker moments as the young men in the unit are confronted with some of the more disconcerting realities of ethnicity, color, race, and religion of the time. Listen to the amazing journey of Eugene Morris Jerome as he seeks to lose his innocence, fall in love, become a writer, and come home from World War II with all his body parts intact.
Directing the production of "Biloxi Blues" at both theaters is Larry Jones, who helmed Kentwood's award-winning production of the play from March 9 to April 14, 2007. Original cast members Michael Allen and Drew Fitzsimmons reprise their roles as Sgt. Merwyn J. Toomey and Pvt. Roy Selridge, along with new cast members Greg Abbott, Dylan Bailey, Rodney Carrington, Samuel Goldman, Sam Hurt, Larry Jones, Maria Pavone and Jennifer Sperry.
"Biloxi Blues" tickets are pay-what-you-can, with a suggested $5 donation per person. Tickets will be sold at the door beginning one hour prior to each performance at the following locations and times:
Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 8:00pm
941 Temescal Canyon Road
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 7:00pm
8301 Hindry Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90045
To learn more about Kentwood Players including their current production and upcoming auditions, please visit their website at www.kentwoodplayers.org. You can also find Kentwood Players information on Facebook and Twitter. "Brighton Beach Memoirs" ended August 15.
For more information about Theatre Palisades including their current production and upcoming auditions, please visit their website at www.theatrepalisades.org. You can also find Theatre Palisades information on Facebook and Twitter. Tickets for "Broadway Bound" may be ordered by calling (310) 454-1970. The production dates are September 4 through October 11, 2015 with performances on Friday and Saturday at 8:00pm, Sunday at 2:00pm. Tickets are $20 with a $2 discount for seniors and students.
Don't miss this unique opportunity to experience all three Neil Simon Eugene Trilogy plays in the chronological order of Eugene Morris Jerome's most interesting life!
Photo by Shari Barrett