“Lost in Yonkers” at The Warehouse Theatre
On this past Friday night, Eliza and I went to see the Neil Simon play, “Lost in Yonkers” at The Warehouse Theatre. This is the last show of the Warehouse’s 2011-2012 season and it concludes on a high note, as the show was expertly performed, like everything else that i’ve had the opportunity to see there over the past several month.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing at least two other Neil Simon plays, those being “The Odd Couple” and “Biloxi Blues” and feel like there has been one other, though I cannot recall which. “Lost in Yonkers,” like the other two, is very character driven (which might seem an odd thing to say about any play, because we’re inclined to think, “aren’t all plays character driven?” while to a degree they are, Mr. Simon’s plays are more so. He is an expert at creating characters). While the story has its moments of humor, it is far away from being a comedy, and the moments of real drama are far more lingering and affecting than any of the occasional laughs. The play is weighty, and for the first half an hour of waiting for the grandmother’s entrance, you find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation of this horrible person who is supposed to emerge. Furthermore, nothing is simple in the story. The characters defy their expectations, and demonstrate themselves to be far more complex than one would guess from their introductions.
The performance was great, with the characters well cast (especially the grandmother) and the appropriate use of New York accents. Casting age appropriate actors was a major plus, as it worked to really emphasize the characters. Emotions were conveyed believablely and for the run of the show I felt like I was watching real people. All good things to see in a performance.
Of all the sets at The Warehouse Theatre this season, I think that the one for “Lost in Yonkers” was the most complex and detailed. While everything seemed very stationary throughout the show (there were no major set changes), the detailed applied to make the stage appear like a city apartment was well done. The set design, while pretty much stationary, is an essential aspect to the story, as it embodies a closed in space where the characters find themselves feeling both restricted at times and liberated at others. The exits (to bedrooms, to a bathroom, to the street or the shop below) are just as important at the visible set, as the movement of the characters to leave tells us more about their enclosed world.
As the final play of The Warehouse Theatre’s 2011-2012 season I feel like “Lost in Yonkers” continued the expertly performed and produced shows that I’ve come to associate with the theatre. It was hugely enjoyable, professional executed, and all around just a great show. “Lost in Yonkers” runs through Saturday June, 23rd so definitely try to check it out if you have a chance.
And so ends my season writing reviews of shows at The Warehouse. It has been great to see all these performances. I appreciate all the work and effort that goes into them and makes them the enjoyable pieces of entertainment they are. Already I am looking forward to several of next seasons shows.