October 24, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
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Neil Simon’s Tony Award- winning play takes the stage in Brunswick

John Benson

Special to The Gazette

When Thomas Treichel first read Neil Simon’s Tony Award-winning play (and subsequent Academy Award-winning movie) “Lost in Yonkers,” the Brunswick resident just knew he had to be involved in its local production.

That dream comes to fruition when the Brunswick Alumni Community Theatre stages its dinner theater show of “Lost In Yonkers,” which takes place on weekends March 20-28 at the Skyview Lodge in Brunswick.

“It hits very close to home because we had a time in our life where I had to be separated from my wife, and my kids went to live with my mother,” said Treichel, who directs the play.

“So it kinds of bares onto that aspect. And I’m German and the grandmother in the story is also German. It’s just a very unusual, very realistic story from 1941, which happened to be the year I was born. The story kept bringing back fond memories of when I was a child growing up in that era.”

Considered by many to be the best play Neil Simon ever wrote, “Lost In Yonkers” takes place in, naturally, Yonkers, N.Y.

The play opens with Eddie leaving his two young sons with his mother, who is taking care of the mentally challenged Bella and small time hood Louie.

“The story revolves around each member having to rely on somebody else whether they want to or not,” Treichel said. “And there are conflicts from all different angles coming in and out. It’s kind of told from the point of view of the two boys — one is 13 and the other is going on 16.

“Their mother had died of cancer a few years ago and their father has to find a better job to help pay off the mob where he borrowed money to pay for her funeral. He had a $9,000 debt to pay off.”

Having previously acted in various Brunswick Alumni Community Theatre productions, including most recently “M*A*S*H,” Treichel is looking forward to his directorial debut with the local company.

“I really wanted to get back into directing, and I figured it was time to get back into it again,” Treichel said. “I enjoy the theater very much. I’ve been with it for over 40 years and in Germany we had our own children’s puppet show that traveled to different schools. So I just love the theater, all different aspects of it.”

And the fact Treichel is directing the apropos “Lost in Yonkers” is icing on the cake.
“It’s not only a very serious drama in many aspects but it shows the interweaving of a family torn apart from the after-Depression situation,” Treichel said. “It’s all revealed in the show through humor and drama.”

The Brunswick Alumni Community Theatre’s production of “Lost In Yonkers” takes place at 6 p.m. March 20, 21, 27 and 28 at the Skyview Lodge, 336 Pearl Road, Brunswick.

Tickets are $25 and include a full buffet dinner (either a chicken or Lenten main dish, potato, vegetable, dessert and coffee or tea).

A cash bar also will be open.

For more information, visit www.brunswickact.org.

Contact John Benson at ididhear@aol.com.