Algonquin Arts Theatre Will Open 2020 With Neil Simon's BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS
Algonquin Arts Theatre opens the New Year on Saturday, January 25, with a two-week production of Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs."
The first in Simon's semi-autobiographical Eugene Trilogy, young teenager Eugene Jerome narrates the play and is the central character. Dreaming of baseball and girls, he must cope with the mundane existence of his family life in Brooklyn during the Great Depression.
Throw into the mix his widowed aunt, her two young (but rapidly aging) daughters and you have a recipe for hilarity, served up Simon-style. This bittersweet memoir evocatively captures the life of a struggling lower middle-class household where, as his father states "if you didn't have a problem, you wouldn't be living here."
Director Ian Moore (Newsies, West Side Story) has assembled a veteran cast of actors familiar to Algonquin audiences to fill the seven roles.
James Grande of Ocean returns to the Algonquin stage as Eugene. He most recently appeared as Henry in last summer's production of "Newsies" and was featured in "A Christmas Carol The Musical" (Scrooge age 12) and in the title role of "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
Eugene's worldly older brother Stanley will be played by Matt Giunco (Newsies, Hairspray) of Manasquan. His overworked father, Jack, is played by Mark Megill (Beauty & The Beast, Damn Yankees) of Manasquan. Pamela Ward, the theatre's Executive Director, makes her debut in an Algonquin production as Eugene's formidable mother, Kate.
Gina Lupi (Mamma Mia, Beauty & The Beast) of Freehold plays Aunt Blanche, the mother of Eugene's older cousin Nora and younger cousin Laurie. Julie Lupi (Mamma Mia, Beauty & The Beast) of Freehold and Sophie Creed (Newsies, Beauty & The Beast) feature as Nora and Laurie, respectively.
"Brighton Beach Memoirs" opens at Algonquin Arts Theatre on Saturday, January 25 with performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. It continues the next day, Sunday, January 26, with a 3 p.m. performance. The second weekend of performances will be Friday, January 31 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, February 1 at both 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Regular tickets are $32 for adults, $29 for seniors and $23 for students. A limited quantity of premium tickets are available to select performances for $8 more. To order, visit algonquinarts.org or call the Algonquin Box Office at 732-528-9211 (11-4 pm weekdays, 11-2 pm weekends).
The show is recommended for ages 12 and older. Children under age four will not be admitted.
Nick D'Ambrosia is the assistant director and Kerielle Sollecito is the stage manager. The creative team includes Jason Greenhouse (scenic), Joseph Ficarra (props), Joanne Penrose (costumes), Roman Klima (lighting), Derek Alfano (wigs) and Jan Topoleski (sound). "Brighton Beach Memoirs" is produced by Julie Nagy.
"Brighton Beach Memoirs" is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French.
The play is the last straight play to run for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway, beginning a run of 1,299 performances on March 27, 1983. That day marked the Broadway debut for Matthew Broderick as Eugene Jerome, a role for which he won a Tony as Best Featured Actor in a Play.
The Algonquin recently announced that it will continue with Simon's Eugene Trilogy in January of 2021 with the second title, "Biloxi Blues."