Worth getting Lost in Yonkers
If you are looking for something to do on these long winter nights, you should not miss the opportunity to see Lost in Yonkers at the Boathouse Theatre in Blenheim.
There were a few empty seats at the opening night of the Marlborough Repertory Theatre's latest instalment last night and this bittersweet family story directed by Bruce Weston is too good to be missed.
Written by Neil Simon, the story follows a Jewish family living in New York at the start of World War II, when two young brothers are sent to stay with their grandmother.
In the opening scene we learn the brothers, Jay and Arty – played by Jack Rainbird and Jack Kershaw – have lost their mother, their grandmother is "colder than steel" and other secrets about their dysfunctional family members.
By the time Grandma – played by Margaret Pringle – entered the scene the audience had been drawn a pretty grim picture of her, and we were not disappointed.
Grandma was a brick wall of austerity and disapproval; the brothers wilted like spinach beneath her glare. But despite her coldness it eventually became clear she kept the family together.
As the masterfully spun plot grew, so did the cast's confidence – by intermission I was fascinated.
By the second scene in the second act, the intricate layers that weave the family together started to unravel and we began to understand why people were the way they were. The child-like Aunt Bella – played by Sonia Beal – had given a sweetly off-the-wall performance up until this point, but drew a few tears during a touching scene as she reached out to her mother.
Rainbird and Kershaw should be recognised for their individual performances and support of each other in their major roles.
Their punches and punchlines were well-timed and they managed to deliver a huge number of lines almost unfalteringly, New York accent and all.
One of the great things about amateur theatre is the show grows each night as the cast gain polish and confidence.
And as far as I'm concerned, the cast were looking pretty well polished last night, so don't put off going for too long, there are only nine nights left.
- The Marlborough Express