Lost in Yonkers

by  Neil Simon

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  4m, 3f

By America's great comic playwright, this memory play is set in Yonkers in 1942. Bella is thirty-five years old, mentally challenged, and living at home with her mother, stern Grandma Kurnitz. As the play opens, ne'er-do-well son Eddie deposits his two young sons on the old lady's doorstep. He is financially strapped and taking to the road as a salesman. The boys are left to contend with Grandma, with Bella and her secret romance, and with Louie, her brother, a small-time hoodlum in a strange new world called Yonkers.

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Lost in Yonkers

by  Neil Simon

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Period
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Tony, Pulitzer, From Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

By America's great comic playwright, this memory play is set in Yonkers in 1942. The hit Broadway production featured Irene Worth, Mercedes Ruehl, and Kevin Spacey in award-winning performances. Bella is thirty-five years old, mentally challenged, and living at home with her mother, stern Grandma Kurnitz. As the play opens, ne'er-do-well son Eddie deposits his two young sons on the old lady's doorstep. He is financially strapped and taking to the road as a salesman. The boys are left to contend with Grandma, with Bella and her secret romance, and with Louie, her brother, a small-time hoodlum in a strange new world called Yonkers.
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Accolades

  • WINNER - 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
    WINNER - 1991 Tony Award, Best Play

Reviews

REVIEWS

"THE BEST PLAY SIMON EVER WROTE." - New York Post

"Broadway desperately needs a comedy, a drama, and a hit. With Lost in Yonkers, Mr. Simon has given us all three." - Wall Street Journal

"One of Simon's most impressive and funniest plays." - New York Daily News

"Laughter and tears have come together in a new emotional truth. There are moments in this play when you experience a new kind of laughter for Simon, a silent laughter that doesn't explode into a yuk but implodes straight into your heart." -Newsweek

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Senior Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Large Stage

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $125 per performance
  • Mandatory Music/Media Fee: $15 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1940s / WWII
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Yonkers, New York. August 1942. The apartment just about "Kurnitz's Kandy Store."
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

4m, 3f
JAY - 16
ARTY - 13 1/2
EDDIE - their father, 41
BELLA - mid-thirties, neat and sweet and pretty
GRANDMA KURNITZ - Eddie and Bella's mother, a big woman, buxom, with a strong and erect body, 70 odd years of age
LOUIE - her other son, 36, doesn't look like he'd be the hugging type
AUNT GERT - mid-to-late thirties, another of Grandma Kurnitz's children
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Cast Attributes

  • Features Teens
  • Roles for Children
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

Neil Simon

American playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon is widely regarded as one of the most successful, prolific and performed playwrights in the world. In addition to Lost In Yonkers, which won a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize, his plays and musicals include Come Blow Your Horn, Little Me, Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Coupl ...

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Lost in Yonkers was first presented by Emanuel Azenberg at The Center for the Performing Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on December 31, 1990. This production subsequently moved to Broadway, opening at the Richard Rogers Theater in New York

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