“Brighton Beach Memoirs” is part one of Neil Simon’s autobiographical trilogy: a portrait of the writer as a young teen in 1937 living with his family in a crowded, lower middle-class Brooklyn walk-up. Eugene Jerome, standing in for the author, is the narrator and central character. Dreaming of baseball and girls, Eugene must cope with the mundane existence of his family life in Brooklyn: formidable mother, overworked father, and his worldly older brother Stanley. Throw into the mix his widowed Aunt Blanche, her two young (but rapidly aging) daughters, and Grandpa the Socialist, and you have a recipe for hilarity, served up Simon-style. This bittersweet memoir evocatively captures the life of a struggling Jewish household where, as his father states, “if you didn’t have a problem, you wouldn’t be living here.”
Author: Neil Simon
The first of three Neil Simon’s autobiographical comedies “Brighton Beach Memoirs” was next up in the Players’ celebration. It was a sweet memory tale of growing up and coming of age in a fictional Neil Simon family during the 1930’s. All aspects of the production received high praise. This production saw the return of Vicki Hill after a hiatus of five years. Vicki was a past board member, actor, and producer for the Players, and she had appeared in many Players’ productions.