Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Lost in Yonkers

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Neil Simon's Pulitzer-winning 1991 comedy-drama, set in the 1940s, revolves around two precocious teenage boys whose father sends them to live with his battle-ax mother and neurotic, bitter, or impaired siblings while he takes a traveling sales job. Though director Catherine Davis and her able cast deliver Simon's trademark quips and shtick with great timing and punch, they don't rely on them too heavily--the usual mistake with Simon. Instead they plumb the play's depths to expose each character's wisdom, pain, and vulnerability. Particularly affecting are Whitney Hayes as the loopy aunt who has a woman's longings and a child's mind (the result of scarlet fever) and Kathleen Ruhl as the grandmother, whose steely facade armors her against suffering that would topple the average soul. As a result of this groundwork, it's heartrending when the family's trials give way to a glimmer of hope. Through 5/29: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. No show Sat 4/23. Attic Playhouse, 410 Sheridan, Highwood, 847-433-2660. $16 in advance; $18 at the door.

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