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Domino Theatre
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Brighton Beach Memoirs

Abby Wolfe, Harli Polonsky, Sara Beck, Michael Capon, Kate Barker, Max Comber, William Mitchell

Left to right: Abby Wolfe, Harli Polonsky, Sara Beck, Michael Capon, Kate Barker, Max Comber, William Mitchell

by Neil Simon
directed by Penny Nash
June 6,7,8,13,14,15,20,21 7:30 p.m.
June 22, 2:00 p.m.
The Davies Foundation Auditorium
52 Church St., Kingston, ON

Dreaming of baseball and girls, almost-15 Eugene Jerome must cope with the mundane existence of his family life in 1930s Brooklyn: formidable mother, overworked father, wordly older brother Stanley and his widowed Aunt Blanche and her two young (but rapidly aging) daughters.

Eugene has the usual early-teenage preoccupations such as adjusting to "the year I began to notice girls that weren't too bad to look at," being blamed (or imagining he is) for everything that goes wrong, and liver and onions for dinner again. But he and his whole family are dealing with the loss of jobs they can't manage without, his aunt's suitor who her sister considers highly unsuitable, the strains of adult sisters and their families sharing a small house and his older cousin Nora's dreams of a big break in show business. No wonder Eugene is thinking of writing his memoirs.

"After having seen 'Brighton Beach Memoirs,' at the Alvin, one can only have positive feelings about its author, Neil Simon. In this flat-out autobiographical memory play, a portrait of the writer as a Brooklyn teen-ager in 1937, Mr. Simon makes real progress toward an elusive longtime goal: he mixes comedy and drama without, for the most part, either force-feeding the jokes or milking the tears. It's happy news that one of our theater's slickest playwrights is growing beyond the well-worn formulas of his past."

The New York Times

And a memoir is just what this loosely autobiographical play is. The first of Simon's trilogy about his adolescence and early adulthood, it was followed up with Biloxi Blues, based on his military service, and Broadway Bound, in which he takes the first steps to a career as America's most produced playwright of the 20th century.

Brighton Beach Memoirs opened on Broadway in March 1983, after a pre-Broadway production in Los Angeles. In 1983, it received the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play and was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play. It ran until 1986, a total of 1,299 performances.

Cast and Crew | Seat Map

Neil Simon

Neil Simon was born in New York in 1927. He started his career in the 1940s writing scripts for radio and television with his brother Danny, then moved on to writing for the New York theatre.

His first Broadway production was a revue called Catch a Star, written with his brother Danny. His first Broadway play, Come Blow Your Horn, opened in 1961.

His best-known plays since then include The Odd Couple, The Goodbye Girl, Lost in Yonkers and the autobiographical trilogy Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound.

Simon has won three Tony awards (for The Odd Couple and Biloxi Blues plus a special Tony for contribution to theatre in 1975) and has had more plays adapted for film than any other American playwright. In 1983 he became the only living American playwright to have a Broadway theatre named after him. Simon died in August 2018.

We would like to acknowledge that this production takes place on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples. We honour and give thanks to the land, its inhabitants and their enduring cultures.

Admission $20 (plus Grand Theatre surcharge). Tickets available through Kingston Grand Box Office, 613-530-2050 and online, until 2 p.m. on day of performance, and at the door (cash, debit, Visa, MasterCard, Apple Pay or Android Pay) on performance nights when available. Seniors and members $16 at the door on Thursdays only. Children and students $10.


Wikipedia: Neil Simon

New York Times obituary

Wikipedia: Brighton Beach Memoirs