The final play in Neil Simon’s quasi-autobiographical trilogy (preceded by Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues) continues the story of young Eugene Jerome, an aspiring comedy writer with dreams of a career in radio.
It’s 1949 and Eugene and his brother-cum-writing partner are stuck in the wilds of Brooklyn, with their increasingly remote father, disillusioned mother, and unreconstructed socialist grandfather.
Meanwhile, their mother’s sister, who has ‘married well’ and now lives the good live on Park Avenue – a betrayal of her working-class roots in the eyes of her father – is attempting to reconcile her and Kate’s parents.
Life in this hard-scrabble, working-class Jewish household is an incessant round of baiting and bickering. But when the boys use their family as fodder for their comedy scripts, they learn early lessons in compassion and artistic integrity.
Roseanne McNamara directs. Les Asmussen, Patrick Holman, Brett Heath, Suzann James, Susan Jordan and Simon Lee feature.