2012-10-12 / Community

Brighton Beach Meets Rockaway Beach

Left to right: Kate, Nora, Blanche and Jack. Left to right: Kate, Nora, Blanche and Jack. Things are abuzz at the Post Theater these days as the cast and crew of the RTC production of Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” busily prepares for their October 12 opening. The play is Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical comedy which follows Depression-era teenager Eugene Jerome, portrayed by RTC veteran Frank Caiati, as he pursues his dreams of becoming a successful comedy writer and deals with the conflicts of his squabbling family. Eugene shares his home in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, with his parents, Jack and Kate (Fred Grieco and Lynda Browning), his recently widowed aunt Blanche (Jodee Timpone), his two cousins Nora (Kim Simik) and Laurie (alternately Celine Ebert and Jenna Tipaldo) and his big brother, Stanley (Stephen Ryan), whom he looks up to and admires.

During the course of the play, Eugene recalls the hardships, and often the hilarity, of enduring adolescence and puberty as a poor boy in the crowded Jewish household where the Jerome family eats, sleeps, kvetches, fights, jokes and occasionally cries during several momentous days in 1937. The amazing bi-level set, artfully designed and decorated by Caiati himself and constructed by masterful RTC set construction supervisor Tony Homsey, captures the essence of 1937 Brooklyn. The acting is of truly professional quality. Kudos to director Susan Corning for assembling a truly awesome ensemble of experienced actors for this production.

Left to right: Kim Simek (Nora), Jodee Timpone (Blanche), Lynda Browning (Kate) and Celine Ebert (Laurie). Left to right: Kim Simek (Nora), Jodee Timpone (Blanche), Lynda Browning (Kate) and Celine Ebert (Laurie). Neil Simon has long been a favorite playwright for the RTC, which has previously produced “Come Blow Your Horn,” “Barefoot in the Park,” “The Good Doctor,” “Prisoner of Second Avenue” and “The Odd Couple.” His universal themes always seem to ring true for RTC audience members. “Brighton Beach Memoirs” is arguably Simon’s finest theatrical accomplishment, evoking fits of laughter with a chaser of tears. If you have never seen it, you should not miss this production which will run on Friday and Saturday nights, October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 8 p.m.

Laurie and Uncle Jack. Laurie and Uncle Jack. There will be three Sunday matinee performances on October 14, 21 and 28 at 2 p.m.

The October 14 matinee will be a special performance for the benefit of North Shore Animal League. All proceeds from this performance will be donated to North Shore to help them in their mission of rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing homeless dogs and cats.

There will be beautiful, healthy puppies, kittens and adult pets available for adoption outside the Post Theater between 12 and 5 p.m. for anyone interested in adopting. You are not required to see the show in order to visit the NSAL Mobile Adoption Unit, but you will have an excellent theatrical experience, while helping a really worthwhile animal charity, if you do.

To see “Brighton Beach Memoirs” during any of the scheduled performances, call 718-374-6400 or visit www.rockawaytheatrecompany.org and reserve your seats immediately because this one will definitely sell out quickly.

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