8/1/2014 - HCAC: Lost in Yonkers


Jacob Brick (Tenafly), Samantha Carpel (W. Orange) and Aaron Noriega (N. Haledon) 

Samantha Carpel (W. Orange), Alan Niebuhr (Lyndhurst), Dorsey Winant (Jersey City), Aaron Noriega (N. Haledon) and Jacob Brick (Tenafly). 

Photos courtesy of Marilyn Schilke

Teaneck New Theatre (TNT)—in association­­ with The Hackensack Cultural Arts Center (HCAC)—is staging Lost in Yonkers, Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning comedy-drama. Bill Kaufman of Paterson is directing. Lost in Yonkers, the third production of TNT’s 28th season, runs from August 1-17 at The Hackensack Cultural Arts Center, 39 Broadway, Hackensack. Curtain times are 8:00 PM. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3:00 PM. on Sundays. 

Cited by critics as Simon’s best play, Lost in Yonkers is a moving and humorous tale of a dysfunctional family in 1940s Yonkers. Eddie, played by Alan Niebuhr of Lyndhurst, is a widower with two sons whose new job is taking him on the road for several months. That’s why he prevails on his intimidating mother to provide a temporary home for 16-year-old Jay, portrayed by N. Haledon resident Aaron Noriega and Westwood’s Kevin Trejo; and 13-year-old Arty, played by Tenafly resident Jacob Brick. Jersey City resident Dorsey Winant is Grandma Kurnitz, a Nazi Germany survivor who is strict, severe and uncompromising, and far from eager to take the boys. Jay and Arty, of course, would rather be anywhere else. 
Samantha Carpel of W. Orange plays Aunt Bella, the only person delighted to have the boys move in. Bella is a warm, appealing, but emotionally stunted young woman under her mother’s thumb. It seems that Grandma Kurnitz has done a number on every one of her offspring. Eddie is a good guy but weak. Uncle Louie, played by Nick Pascarella of Ho-Ho-Kus, is a small-time gangster. And Aunt Gert, portrayed by Debbie F. Buchsbaum of Rivervale, can’t breathe properly when visiting her mother. 

How do the boys survive their ordeal? And what happens when Bella attempts to navigate her own future? Things do get sticky, but this is Neil Simon, so there’s no shortage of humor to leaven the drama. 

Beatriz Esteban-Messina of Union City and Marilyn Schilkie of Teaneck serve as stage managers for Lost in Yonkers. Oradell resident Michael Smith is the set designer. Carol Campione of Teaneck produces the show. 

Tickets for Lost in Yonkers are $15; $12 for students and seniors; and $10 for theatre parties of 10 or more. Opening night only: Two $15 tickets for the price of one. For reservations and information, call TNT at (201) 692-0200. Check TNT’s web site at www.go-tnt.org for directions to the theatre and for credit card ticket purchases.