November 18, 1999

Broadway Bound At Community Theatre

Fans of Neil Simon are in for a very special treat with the Community
Theatreís current production, Broadway Bound, Simonís semi-autobiographical
look at his own family.
This play is the third in the trilogy which began with the coming-of-age
story, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and continued through his stint in the army
with Biloxi Blues. In many ways, Broadway Bound is his most personal and
poignant but no less humorous visit to his past.
Broadway Bound tells the story of Eugene and his brother Stanley, growing
up in Jewish New York during the Second World War in a household undergoing
radical changes. For Eugene and his brother, there is the roller-coaster
ride of dreams and reality as they strive to break into radio with their
comedy sketches. In contrast to this youthful enthusiasm, Eugene and Stanís
parents Kate and Jack struggle with the break-up of their marriage. And
then thereís Grandpa, who staunchly resists his other daughter Blancheís
efforts to get him to move to Florida.
Neil Simon grew up in Washington Heights under similar circumstances to his
Broadway Bound heroes. After graduating from public school and a short (due
to the armistice) stint in the army, he returned to New York and became a
mailroom clerk. With his brother, Danny, he started
writing comedy sketches, which were soon heard on the radio; finally he
made it into television, where wrote for Jackie Gleason, Garry Moore, Sid
Caesar and others. As we know from the many plays he has since written,
Simon has an amazing talent for portraying all the passions and
humiliations of daily life without losing sight of the humor of it all.
Kay Deever (director) and Sheila Hochhauser (producer) have assembled a
winning cast and crew, starting with John Jasso and Dave Mangan, playing
Eugene (Simonís alter ego) and his brother Stan respectively, both making
their debuts on the MAC-CT stage.    Valerie Dykes, Nellie Bucholtz, Shel
Edelman and Steve Chellew complete the family, and Kyle Moreland, Amber
Ehart and Michael Kizzee are the radio stars that complete the perfect
picture of Brighton Beach in February of 1949.
The Manhattan Arts Centerís production of this moving, true-to-life play
comes to the MAC stage on Thursday, November 18 and runs until the 21.
Performances start at 8 p.m., except Sunday matinees, which start at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $9 (adults), $7 (students), and $4 (children under 12)  and can
be obtained by calling 539-6000,
e-mailing boxoffice @Manhattan, or  by stopping by the Center or
Streetside in Aggieville. Student walk-ins on Thursday and Sunday are $5.