Special Report by Journalist Luscinda Dickey
Billions of shows have been performed in my home state of North Carolina. Many of those billions have been performed in Winston-Salem, and in Winston-Salem, there must be over 10 being performed and rehearsed right at this very moment. But out of all of those shows, there is one that means a great deal more to Winston-Salem than others. That show is called Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon. It was originally presented by Emanuel Azenberg on December 31, 1990 at The Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Winston-Salem. Lost in Yonkers went on to make its Broadway premiere at the Richard Rogers Theater in New York. Now, after winning many awards including a Tony Award for Best Play, 40+ Stage Company has brought Lost in Yonkers back to Winston-Salem.
Set in a 1942 apartment in Yonkers, New York, this emotional, engaging, comic drama follows the trials and tribulations of brothers Jay (Adam Sherrill) and Arty (Kalonji Lerian Patterson) on a quest to fit into their upside down extended family. From dashing comic relief, ruff and tumbled, New York gangster Uncle Louie (Mike Shapiro) to heart wrenching, dramatic, theatrical thriller, German immigrant Grandma Kurnitz (Maggie Gallagher), Lost in Yonkers host a wide variety of memorable characters.
Not only was the acting talent extremely high and the set top notch, but when one of the actors (Eddie) dropped out last minute the Director (Jay Smith) successfully stepped in the role. Though Eddie—father of Jay and Arty—was played opening night script in hand, I was so impressed by the fact that you could barely tell that Director Jay Smith was reading part of his lines.
A shout out to the amazing cast! I thoroughly enjoyed your performance, and I know many more will as there is still one weekend left to see the show: November 22-24, 2019 at the Mountcastle Theatre within the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. Lost in Yonkers is truly one in a billion.