The Emery High Drama department under the direction of Neal Peacock presented Lost in Yonkers recently.
Lost in Yonkers is a coming of age tale that focuses on brothers Arty and Jay, left in the care of their Grandma Kurnitz and Aunt Bella in Yonkers, New York. Their desperate father, Eddie, works as a traveling salesman to pay off debts incurred following the death of his wife. Grandma is a severe, frightfully intimidating immigrant who terrified her children as they were growing up, damaging each of them to varying degrees. Bella is a sweet but mentally slow and highly excitable woman who longs to marry an usher at the local movie house so she can escape the oppressive household and create a life and family of her own. Her brother Louie is a small-time, tough-talking hoodlum who is on the run, while her sister Gert suffers from a breathing problem which causes more psychological than physical problems. Lost in Yonkers climaxes with a dramatic confrontation between embittered mother and lonely daughter that creates a permanent fissure in this highly dysfunctional family.
The German immigrant mother, Grandma Kurnitz is played by a very stern Kennedy Kemple. Allison Barham played Bella the emotionally unstable daughter. The brothers Arty and Jay are played by Kalin Burr and Seth Stephens. The brothers worked together for many laughs and tender moments in the play. Louie is played by Devin Hales and he brings the life of a gangster into perspective for his young nephews. Jessica Larsen is Gert who doesn't get out much due to her breathing disorders. Tyler Cox plays the father of Arty and Jay who has to leave his sons with his mother while he seeks employment in the south.
The cast creates an entirely believable play which has you laughing one minute and crying the next. Bella, the daughter played by Allison Barham gives a particularly moving performance as she pleads with her mother to allow her to marry her boyfriend and pursue her dream of being a wife and a mother.
Lost in Yonkers was written by Neil Simon in 1991.
Emery High will perform Aristocats on April 22,23, and 24 in the Emery High Auditorium.