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Highlights of 2009-2010 Broadway Season

2009-2010 Broadway Season Officially Ends

HIGHLIGHTS OF A HISTORIC STAR-FILLED YEAR, PACKED WITH SHOWS:

Burn The Floor • Bye Bye Birdie • The Royal Family • Hamlet • After Miss Julie • Wishful Drinking • Ragtime • White Christmas  • A Little Night Music • A View From the Bridge • The Miracle Worker • A Behanding in Spokane •
Times Stands Still • Present Laughter • Next Fall • Looped • Red • Lend Me a Tenor • Million Dollar Quartet • La Cage aux Folles •  Sondheim on Sondheim • Fences • Collected Stories • Everyday Rapture


With the opening last night of Roundabout Theatre Company’s Everyday Rapture, the 2009-2010 Broadway Season officially comes to an end.
 
One of the busiest and exciting Broadway seasons in years included many moments that will make it truly memorable.  
 
Follow along with us on Twitter (@BBBway) as we look back at this electric, star-packed season.  
 
@OfficialBTF:
“Last summer, the Longacre heated up with the dancers of BURN THE FLOOR.  Maks and Karina from DWTS were a special treat for audiences.”
 
@B3onBroadway:
“The new Henry Miller’s Theatre opened in September with the first revival of the famous rock-n-roll musical BYE BYE BIRDIE.  Mayor Bloomberg cut the ribbon!”

@MTC_NYC:
“THE ROYAL FAMILY was so luscious, even the NY Times is still talking about it:   http://tinyurl.com/39yw4vg .”
 
@HamletBway09:
“Jude Law returned to Broadway last fall in the Donmar Warehouse’s mega-hit acclaimed production of HAMLET.”
 
@NightMusicBway:
“Celebrated stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury lit up Broadway this Winter in the first revival of A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC.”
 
@RTC_NYC:
“Carrie Fisher had audiences rolling in the aisles as she told her sordid, martini soaked tale in WISHFUL DRINKING.”
 
@BBBWAY:
“The Neil Simon Plays: Brighton Beach Memoirs, directed by David Cromer, earns enthusiastic reviews, but plays briefly at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre.”
 
@RTC_NYC:
“Patrick Marber’s AFTER MISS JULIE brought Sienna Miller & Jonny Lee Miller together in an intoxicating tango.”
 
@SignatureTheatr:
 “Signature Theatre enjoys one of its biggest critical successes with the marathon trilogy production, Horton Foote’s THE ORPHANS’ HOME CYCLE, directed by Michael Wilson.”
 
@RagtimeonBway09:
“The celebrated musical RAGTIME returned to Broadway this Fall, breathing new life into the beloved American epic.”
 
@BBBWAY:
“IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS returned to Broadway at the Marquis Theatre this Winter, making it New York’s newest holiday tradition.”

@VIEWonBroadway:
“The new year began dramatically with Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson in a definitive production of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE.
 
@RTC_NYC:
“The dashing Victor Garber nailed the classic Noel Coward matinee idol role in a very funny revival of PRESENT LAUGHTER.”
 
@MTC_NYC:
“Donald Margulies’ newest play, TIME STANDS STILL earns rave reviews in its Broadway debut at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.”
 
@MiracleWorkerNY:
“THE MIRACLE WORKER brought Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin to Circle in the Square for her Broadway debut, alongside Tony nominee Alison Pill.”
 
@LoopedBroadway:
“Valerie Harper returned to Broadway in March in a tour-de-force performance as Tallulah Bankhead in LOOPED.”
 
@NextFall:
“Geoffrey Naufft’s new American play NEXT FALL opened in March and was lauded by critics for its humor, compassion and depth.”
 
@BehandingBWAY:
“March roared in like a lion with Chris Walken’s memorable portrayal of a one-handed man in A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE.”
 
@MillionDQuartet:
“In April, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET became Broadway’s newest smash hit musical featuring a treasure trove of beloved rock and roll songs.”
 
@LendTenorNYC:
“Uproarious laughter has filled The Music Box since the April bow of Ken Ludwig’s madcap comedy Lend Me A Tenor, directed by Stanley Tucci.”
 
@RedonBroadway:
“Stage & screen vet Alfred Molina and Broadway newcomer Eddie Redmayne paint NY RED in John Logan’s new play, directed by Michael Grandage.”
 
@LaCageBroadway:
“LA CAGE AUX FOLLES opens to raves for Kelsey Grammer & Douglas Hodge and the ingeniously reinvented production, directed by Terry Johnson.”
 
@RTC_NYC:
“The adoration for Sondheim’s musical genius continued this spring in SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM.  Barbara Cook is a rare treat for Broadway audiences.”
 
@MTC_NYC:
“Donald Margulies’ COLLECTED STORIES premiered on Broadway at MTC, starring Linda Lavin, Sarah Paulson and directed by Lynne Meadow.”
 
@FencesBroadway:
“The first Broadway revival of FENCES, directed by Kenny Leon, opened to a chorus of raves for stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.
 
@RTC_NYC:
“Sherie Rene Scott finished the season off with a bang, wowing critics with her new musical EVERYDAY RAPTURE.” 

www.twitter.com/bbbway 
#  #  #  

2009-2010 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations

2009-2010 OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD NOMINATIONS

Nominations for the 60th annual Outer Critics Circle Awards, celebrating excellence in Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre, were announced this morning.
 

Continue reading

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS IN THE NEWS

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS IN THE NEWS

BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS

NOW PLAYING AT THE NEDERLANDER THEATRE

BROADWAY BOUND BEGINS PREVIEWS NOVEMBER 18

OPENING NIGHT IS DECEMBER 10

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are the first Broadway revivals of two of Neil Simon’s beloved Eugene Morris Jerome plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, directed by David Cromer.   Brighton Beach Memoirs opened last night at the Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street).  Broadway Bound joins Brighton Beach Memoirs in repertory on November 18, with opening night on Thursday, December 10. 

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS have been making headlines lately:  

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Are They Laughing?  Are They Moved?

By Patrick Healy

October 25, 2009

Mr. Simon’s attachment to “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Broadway Bound” comes naturally. The sons of the Jerome family, Eugene and Stanley, are stand-ins for Mr. Simon and his brother, Danny; in both the plays and real life the brothers became a comedy-writing team. (The Simons wrote for Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows.”) But in “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and to a lesser extent in “Broadway Bound,” the father, Jack, is a far more loving version of Mr. Simon’s father, Irving, who frequently abandoned the family and was unfaithful to his wife, Mamie (Kate in the plays). The Jeromes have the sort of marriage in “Brighton Beach” that Mr. Simon said he wished his parents had.

The plays also marked a turnaround in Mr. Simon’s life. In one of his memoirs, “The Play Goes On,” he wrote about how, after a succession of flops in the early 1980s, he wondered “if my playwriting career truly was over.” He compared himself to Job and bemoaned whether “God was testing me or just bored with me.” Then one afternoon, “out of sheer desperation,” he wrote, he riffled though his desk drawers and found 35 pages of a script titled “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” written nine years earlier.

“I was smart, not having thrown it out,” he said in the interview. “I don’t know where I was living at the time, but I was on a bed, and I just started writing again.”

To read the complete interview, click on the following link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/theater/25healy.html?_r=1&em

NYTIMES.COM

Audio slideshow by Erik Piepenburg

October 26, 2009

Jessica Hecht talks about a family member who inspires her performance in the revival of “Brighton Beach Memoirs.”

Click on the link to view the audio slideshow:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/10/26/theater/20091026-jessica-hecht-brighton-beach-memoirs-multimedia/index.html?ref=theater  

NEWSDAY

A look at Neil Simon as two of his plays hit Broadway

By Linda Winer

October 25, 2009

“Brighton Beach Memoirs,” the first of what was to become Neil Simon’s coming-of-age trilogy, opens Sunday night at the Nederlander Theatre. “Broadway Bound,” written in 1986, opens Dec. 10, after which the two will be ambitiously presented in repertory. David Cromer, the acclaimed young Chicago director responsible for the stunning “Our Town,” is staging both plays – the first, the story of a Brooklyn teen named Eugene (originally Matthew Broderick) in the ’30s, the other about his return home in the late ’40s after World War II. Noah Robbins now plays Eugene at 15, Josh Grisetti, the Eugene at 23. Laurie Metcalf plays his mother in both.

In an interview with Newsday in 1997, Simon resisted as simplistic the idea that, despite the similarities with his own life and family, the plays are a straightforward retelling of his youth.

For starters, he never lived in Brooklyn. He was born in the Bronx and raised in Washington Heights. He said he changed the setting, in part, to make the father’s commute to the garment district more of an ordeal. Also, he insisted that “not a line” of either play “was ever uttered in real life.” As he put it, “I could write a play about Gandhi and someone would say it’s autobiographical.

To read the complete feature, click on the following link:

http://www.newsday.com/columnists/linda-winer/a-look-at-neil-simon-as-two-of-his-plays-hit-broadway-1.1541663

BERGEN RECORD
From high school stage to Broadway lead role

By Robert Feldberg

October 25, 2009

A funny thing happened to Noah Robbins on the way to college. He got the lead in a Broadway show.

Robbins just turned 19, but looks around 15 — which is good, since that’s the age of the character he plays in “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” which opens today at the Nederlander Theatre.

Now, there are starring parts and there are STARRING parts, and Robbins’ role is the latter. He plays Eugene Morris Jerome, who is Neil Simon’s portrait of himself as a teenager growing up during the Depression.

It’s the part that catapulted 21-year-old Matthew Broderick toward stardom when he created the role in 1983, winning a Tony Award.

“I didn’t have a very good audition,” the slightly built Robbins said the other day in his dressing room before a matinee.

Thoughtful, well-spoken and able to regard his situation with some objectivity, he said his first try for the role was so deficient he didn’t even get a callback.

But several months later, in March, he was touched by earthly intervention.

“My agent asked them to give me another chance,” said Robbins, “and this time things went better.”

There were a series of callbacks, including one before the legendary 82-year-old Simon, before he got the role.

The play’s director, David Cromer, said Robbins made a quick impression.

“Noah came in, and he looked like a sweet, frail little Jewish boy with a joyful disposition and a great raw wit,” he said in an e-mail message. “Since that’s what Eugene needs to be, it was merely a waiting game before we cast him, to make sure it wasn’t too good to be true.”

To read the complete interview, click on the following link:

http://www.northjersey.com/columnists/From_high_school_stage_to_Broadway_lead_role.html

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are the first Broadway revivals of two of Neil Simon’s beloved Eugene Morris Jerome plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, directed by David Cromer.  

Brighton Beach Memoirs began previews on October 2 and opened Sunday, October 25.  Broadway Bound begins previews on Wednesday, November 18 and opens Thursday, December 10.    Starting on November 18, the two plays will be performed in repertory on a varied schedule at the Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street).   

Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound were two of the longest running Broadway plays of the 1980s.  The works ushered in a new era of appreciation for Neil Simon, with praise for the playwright’s hilarious and poignant account of his adolescence, early career and family life in New York in the 1930s and 1940s.

Brighton Beach Memoirs originally opened on March 27, 1983 at the Alvin Theatre and played for 1,299 performances.  (During the run of Brighton Beach Memoirs, the Alvin Theatre was renamed The Neil Simon Theatre).   Broadway Bound opened on December 4, 1986 at the Broadhurst Theatre, where it played for 756 performances.  

Brighton Beach Memoirs stars Laurie Metcalf (Kate Jerome) and Dennis Boutsikaris (Jack Jerome) with Santino Fontana (Stanley Jerome), Jessica Hecht (Blanche), Gracie Bea Lawrence (Laurie), Noah Robbins (Eugene Jerome) and Alexandra Socha (Nora).

Broadway Bound stars Laurie Metcalf (Kate Jerome) and Dennis Boutsikaris (Jack Jerome) with Santino Fontana (Stanley Jerome), Jessica Hecht (Blanche), Josh Grisetti (Eugene Jerome) and Allan Miller (Ben).

Brighton Beach Memoirs centers on young Jewish teen Eugene Morris Jerome and his extended family living in a crowded home in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn in the late 1930s: his overworked father, Jack; overbearing mother, Kate; his older brother Stanley; Kate’s widowed sister Blanche and her daughters, Nora and Laurie.  As Eugene spends his time daydreaming about a baseball career, he must also cope with his family’s troubles, his awkward discovery of the opposite sex and his developing identity as a writer.   

In Broadway Bound, it’s the late 1940s and Eugene and Stanley have started their careers as professional comedy writers.  But when the brothers use their home life in Brighton Beach as inspiration for a radio comedy skit, the Jerome family may never be the same.  

Scenic design is by John Lee Beatty, costume design is by Jane Greenwood, lighting design is by Brian MacDevitt and sound design is by Josh Schmidt and Fitz Patton.   Hair and wig design is by Tom Watson.  

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are produced by Ira Pittelman, Max Cooper, Jeffrey Sine, Scott Delman, Ruth Hendel, Roy Furman, Ben Sprecher/Wendy Federman, Scott Landis and Emanuel Azenberg

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS will be performed in repertory on a varied schedule.  Tickets are available at http://www.TicketMaster.com or 212-307-4100.  

# # # #

www.TheNeilSimonPlays.com     

 

Raves for Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs, directed by David Cromer

RAVES FOR NEIL SIMON’S

BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS

DIRECTED BY DAVID CROMER

 

PRODUCTION OPENED

LAST NIGHT AT THE NEDERLANDER THEATRE

 

 

Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs opened last night at the Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street) in a new production directed by David Cromer

 

The following is a sample of the rave reviews for the production, which will be playing in repertory with Broadway Bound (beginning performances on November 18).  

 

Variety

Review by David Rooney

 

Hats off to the farsighted producers of ‘The Neil Simon Plays’ for taking a risk on their choice of director. While David Cromer’s most recent New York hits, ‘Adding Machine’ and ‘Our Town,’ mined piercing depths in timeworn texts, they did so in an austere presentational style that seemed a million miles from the warm-hearted humor of ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs.’ The first installment of a Simon double that continues with ‘Broadway Bound,’ opening Dec. 10, the revival strikes an exquisite balance between comedy and pathos, its impeccable ensemble landing every laugh while exploring every emotional nuance to build a tremendously moving portrait of family life.

 

Premiered in 1983, Simon’s autobiographical play introduced 15-year-old alter ego Eugene Morris Jerome, an aspiring writer whose progression into adulthood was chronicled through the trilogy’s subsequent parts, ‘Biloxi Blues’ (1985) and ‘Broadway Bound’ (1986).

 

It’s easy to imagine ‘Brighton Beach’ becoming either mawkish or sitcommy in the wrong hands. But Cromer has wisely opted not to direct it as comedy shaded by poignant moments, instead taking the more sober reverse approach of treating the play as a family drama leavened by humor. That choice pays off beautifully.

 

http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117941446.html?categoryid=33&cs=1

 

 

Newsday

Review by Linda Winer

 

‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ is not as good as it was in 1983. It is even better. Neil Simon’s coming-of-age autobiographical comedy is not as heartwarming as it was when the hit starred young Matthew Broderick and ran three years. It’s now also a heartbreaker.

 

‘Brighton Beach’— the Depression-era memories of a teen named Eugene and his extended family in 1937 – is the first of an audacious coupling of two of Simon’s four substantial plays from the ’80s. ‘Broadway Bound,’ about many of the same people after World War II, opens Dec. 10, after which both will run in repertory for what deserves to be – oh, I don’t know – maybe forever.

 

David Cromer (the Chicago director known off-Broadway for his bold musical reinvention of ‘Adding Machine’ and the revelatory ‘Our Town’) moves uptown with a high-wire act of old-fashioned tradition and an emotional honesty so acute it feels radical.

 

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/theater/theater-review-brighton-beach-memoirs-1.1547006

 

 

New York Post

Review by Elisabeth Vincentelli

 

The only way ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ could be any cozier is if we watched it in pajamas while sipping an egg cream.

 

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/theater/reviews/simple_simon_simply_said_cV27i7MlfLjJHLYkZ3lYII

 

 

Associated Press

Review by Michael Kuchwara

 

‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ was first seen on Broadway in 1983 with Matthew Broderick as Eugene. Now it’s returned in an enjoyable revival, which opened Sunday at the Nederlander Theatre, with Noah Robbins, a gawky, thoroughly ingratiating young actor, as the play’s narrator and anchor. Robbins’ self-deprecating charm sneaks up on you as Jerome struggles to deal not only with his parents but the outside world as well.

 

You could call ‘Brighton Beach’ a comedy-drama, a play peppered with amusing, often jokey dialogue alternating with poignant moments of personal confrontation and reconciliation. Yet the disconnect is not as disruptive as it could be thanks to David Cromer’s smooth, seamless direction and an accomplished cast.

 

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gyd5tk3kWUr38-r72kYT9cKsdEowD9BIDMP00

 

 

Washington Post

Review by Peter Marks

 

Let’s hear it for the boys! To get a most endearing glimpse into the fumbling rites of passage for guys on the verge of manhood, look to the terrific interactions of Noah Robbins and Santino Fontana in Broadway’s handsomely crafted new revival of “Brighton Beach Memoirs.”

 

Robbins and Fontana portray the alternately cantankerous and commiserating teenage brothers in the new staging of Neil Simon’s 1983 autobiographical comedy that officially opened Sunday night at the Nederlander Theatre, under the precision guidance of director David Cromer.

 

Simon has always been a nonpareil joke writer. But at times in his long and prolific career, it’s a facility that has gotten in the way of his efforts to penetrate the psyche’s deeper caverns. Cromer’s accomplishment is to assert some of the work’s other qualities, to strike a balance between its wiseacre veneer and its aspirations to poignancy. He does allow the actors their fair share of robust laughs – particularly Robbins, in the role that once made a star of a young Matthew Broderick. Yet the punch lines no longer leave the impression that they have a stranglehold on the evening.

 

It feels like an eternity since a work by Simon has received this level of trenchant treatment in New York.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/25/AR2009102502316.html

 

 

Chicago Tribune

Review by Chris Jones

 

In his distinguished and, frankly, very moving Broadway directing debut, David Cromer mostly does what he has been doing for years in little theaters all over Chicago. He tackles a tired, second-tier play — Neil Simon’s autobiographical “Brighton Beach Memoirs” — that has become clouded with contrivances, cliches and the stamps of star actors, and, in this particular case, expectations over the efficient deliveries of iconic one-liners.

 

He strips all that nonsense away like so much cheap Broadway bark, and he rediscovers the actual, vulnerable Americans underneath.

Cromer unlocks a big-hearted and aptly autumnal drama about the agonies of parenting, the rewards of loving your brother, the hopes and desires of youth, the confounding difficulty of keeping food on your extended family’s table in 1937, with the world on the cusp of war.

 

He replaces sentiment with heart. He raises stakes — yes, even the stakes of a Simon play — to an almost existential level.

 

http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2009/10/cromer.html

 

 

Entertainment Weekly

Review by Thom Geier

 

Eugene is played by Noah Robbins, a 19-year-old just out of high school in Maryland who commands the spotlight from the show’s opening line and holds it through the final curtain. Eugene may never play for the Yankees, as is his fervent hope, but this kid’s a natural. Interestingly, Robbins’ stunning, confident, funny performance evokes a young Woody Allen even more than Matthew Broderick — who created the role at age 21, won a Tony Award, and then went onto Ferris Bueller and a Hollywood career.

 

Robbins’ Eugene is a distinctly post-Seinfeld nebbish, and David Cromer’s thoughtful direction underscores the universality of the family’s experience instead of stooping to borscht belt shtick. As Eugene’s hard-working, all-knowing mother, Laurie Metcalf offers a master class in stage characterization. Her every line reading and gesture achieves a double ring: ringing fundamentally true while wringing the text for every possible laugh.

 

Laughs are, after all, Simon’s stock and trade. There are plenty of them in this fine revival, easily the best show of a young Broadway season. A lot of things may have changed in the last quarter century, but this show’s punchlines still work. A-

 

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20315327,00.html

 

 

NY1 News

Review by Roma Torre

 

When I first saw ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ by Neil Simon 26 years ago, it was a comedy with drama. In the current revival, it’s a drama with comedy. While the script is essentially the same with topnotch actors in both productions, the difference is the direction. David Cromer, fresh from his unique, naturalistic off-Broadway staging of ‘Our Town,’ applies his now trademark directorial magic to the Neil Simon classic. The result is triumphant, as just as it was a huge hit back then, it deserves to be once again.

 

http://ny1.com/6-bronx-news-content/ny1_living/107892/ny1-theater-review—brighton-beach-memoirs-

 

 

Broadway.com

Word of Mouth Review

 

It’s been 23 years since Neil Simon’s ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ last played on Broadway, but the family dramedy is so well-loved that many theatergoers still have warm memories of the show. Word of Mouth panelists Angie, Phil and Joe didn’t see Brighton Beach the first time out, but were happy to catch up with the Jerome family antics at the new revival which just opened at the Nederlander Theatre. Did they think the play deserved a big-time comeback? They sure did!

 

http://www.broadway.com/buzz/our-word-mouth-panelists-love-looking-back-brighton-beach-memoirs/

 

 

TheaterMania

Review by Brian Scott Lipton

 

You can practically hear the ocean in director David Cromer’s beautifully calibrated revival of Neil Simon’s autobiographical 1983 play, ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs,’ now at the Nederlander Theatre. Then again, even if you could, the sound of the waves coming to the shore would be drowned out by the noisy goings-on in the nearby Jerome household, where the Great Depression, the approach of World War II, and the dreams, longings, and troubles of this archetypal Jewish family are constantly colliding.

 

http://www.theatermania.com/broadway/reviews/10-2009/brighton-beach-memoirs_22169.html

 

 

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are the first Broadway revivals of two of Neil Simon’s beloved Eugene Morris Jerome plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, directed by David Cromer.  

 

Brighton Beach Memoirs began previews on October 2 and opened Sunday, October 25.  Broadway Bound begins previews on Wednesday, November 18 and opens Thursday, December 10.    Starting on November 18, the two plays will be performed in repertory on a varied schedule at the Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street).   

 

Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound were two of the longest running Broadway plays of the 1980s.  The works ushered in a new era of appreciation for Neil Simon, with praise for the playwright’s hilarious and poignant account of his adolescence, early career and family life in New York in the 1930s and 1940s.

 

Brighton Beach Memoirs originally opened on March 27, 1983 at the Alvin Theatre and played for 1,299 performances.  (During the run of Brighton Beach Memoirs, the Alvin Theatre was renamed The Neil Simon Theatre).   Broadway Bound opened on December 4, 1986 at the Broadhurst Theatre, where it played for 756 performances.  

 

Brighton Beach Memoirs stars Laurie Metcalf (Kate Jerome) and Dennis Boutsikaris (Jack Jerome) with Santino Fontana (Stanley Jerome), Jessica Hecht (Blanche), Gracie Bea Lawrence (Laurie), Noah Robbins (Eugene Jerome) and Alexandra Socha (Nora).

 

Broadway Bound stars Laurie Metcalf (Kate Jerome) and Dennis Boutsikaris (Jack Jerome) with Santino Fontana (Stanley Jerome), Jessica Hecht (Blanche), Josh Grisetti (Eugene Jerome) and Allan Miller (Ben).

 

Brighton Beach Memoirs centers on young Jewish teen Eugene Morris Jerome and his extended family living in a crowded home in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn in the late 1930s: his overworked father, Jack; overbearing mother, Kate; his older brother Stanley; Kate’s widowed sister Blanche and her daughters, Nora and Laurie.  As Eugene spends his time daydreaming about a baseball career, he must also cope with his family’s troubles, his awkward discovery of the opposite sex and his developing identity as a writer.   

 

In Broadway Bound, it’s the late 1940s and Eugene and Stanley have started their careers as professional comedy writers.  But when the brothers use their home life in Brighton Beach as inspiration for a radio comedy skit, the Jerome family may never be the same.  

 

Scenic design is by John Lee Beatty, costume design is by Jane Greenwood, lighting design is by Brian MacDevitt and sound design is by Josh Schmidt and Fitz Patton.   Hair and wig design is by Tom Watson. 

 

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are produced by Ira Pittelman, Max Cooper, Jeffrey Sine, Scott Delman, Ruth Hendel, Roy Furman, Ben Sprecher/Wendy Federman, Scott Landis and Emanuel Azenberg

 

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS will be performed in repertory on a varied schedule.  Tickets are available at http://www.TicketMaster.com or 212-307-4100.  

 

# # # #

 

www.TheNeilSimonPlays.com    

 

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS IN THE NEWS

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS IN THE NEWS

 

BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS

OPENS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25 AT THE NEDERLANDER THEATRE

 

BROADWAY BOUND BEGINS PREVIEWS NOVEMBER 18

OPENING NIGHT IS DECEMBER 10

 

 

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are the first Broadway revivals of two of Neil Simon’s beloved Eugene Morris Jerome plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, directed by David Cromer.   Brighton Beach Memoirs is currently in previews and opens this Sunday, October 25 at the Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street).  Broadway Bound joins Brighton Beach Memoirs in repertory on November 18, with opening night on Thursday, December 10.  THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS have been making headlines lately:  

 

NEW YORK POST

‘Brighton’ Ready

By Barbara Hoffman

October 23, 2009

 

Before Matthew Broderick was Matthew Broderick — before he was even Ferris Bueller! — he was Neil Simon’s alter ego, Eugene.

 

If stardom’s in the Genes, can Noah Robbins and Josh Grisetti be far behind? The leads of Broadway’s Simon revivals are about to have their Moment.

 

At the Nederlander Theatre — where Robbins’ “Brighton Beach Memoirs” opens Sunday, soon to alternate with Grisetti’s “Broadway Bound” — they looked like two halves of one wild-haired whole: 19-year-old Noah, one of the great high-school Max Bialystocks of his day; and Josh, the 27-year-old lead of last season’s “Enter Laughing,” where he seemed a younger, more verbal version of Harpo Marx.

 

Busting each other’s chops, finishing each other’s sentences . . . you’d think they were brothers. Actually, they met this summer.

 

“It was like looking into a mirror,” Robbins marvels.

 

Grisetti laughs. “Ten years from now, you’ll look just like me, kid!”

 

To read more, click on the following link:

http://www.newyorkpost.com/p/entertainment/theater/brighton_ready_ES0jMBXPgqvhGRNWMjlJdP

 

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL

Broadway Turns Up the Volume

By Ellen Gamerman

October 23, 2009

 

On stage at the Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” are seven actors—and 23 hidden microphones.  Manny Azenberg, 75 years old, whose first Broadway show as a producer was “The Lion in Winter” in 1966, agreed to allow hidden mics on stage in “Brighton Beach” but refused to put body mics on actors. “You lose quality, you lose intimacy, you lose the reality of the theater,” he says.

 

The microphones embedded in the stage at “Brighton Beach Memoirs” represented a compromise. Many people in the 1,223-seat Nederlander Theatre—likely to include elderly audiences—wouldn’t be able to hear the play without amplification, so Fitz Patton, one of the sound designers, concealed nearly two dozen microphones around the set.

 

Now, when Jack Jerome, the family patriarch, turns to adjust the radio dial, he speaks his lines into a microphone embedded in the radio. Audiences in the rear balcony can hear a heart-to-heart talk between brothers Stanley and Eugene on the stoop at stage right, thanks in part to a mic concealed in a chain-link fence.

 

To read more, click the following link:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704597704574487153079350302.html

 

Interactive Graphic:

On the set of Broadway’s ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs,’ nearly two dozen microphones are concealed in spots like a park bench and fence, and mounted on ceilings, walls and the stage floor.

 

Click on the following link:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704597704574487153079350302.html#articleTabs%3Dinteractive

 

WSJ.com Video:

Sound Design That’s Straight Outta Brooklyn

Profile of ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ sound designer Fitz Patton

 

Click on the following link

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704597704574487153079350302.html#articleTabs%3Dvideo

 

 

PLAYBILL.COM

Brief Encounter with Laurie Metcalf

By Robert Simonson

October 21, 2009

 

Actress Laurie Metcalf has had the opportunity to do many things during her long tenure as an ensemble member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Two things she hasn’t gotten the chance do are: play a Neil Simon character and act in rep. Metcalf will do both for the first time this fall on Broadway, playing the matriarch in Simon’s autobiographical comedies Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound. The landmark enterprise at the Nederlander Theatre is being directed by a fellow Chicagoan David Cromer. Metcalf talked to Playbill.com about Simon, Broadway, Steppenwolf and what her middle name isn’t.

 

Playbill.com: How did this project come your way?
Laurie Melcalf: I got a call to read the plays together, and I heard they were doing them in rep, which was really intriguing to me.

 

Playbill.com: Have you ever done anything like that before?
LM: I’ve never done rep, no. I don’t think it’s done too much anymore. It’s unusual. It’s also probably weirdly expensive. So I read them back to back. I didn’t know the plays, which was inexcusable.

 

Playbill.com: You’d never seen them?
LM: I’d never seen them. I’d always heard about them my whole life.

 

Playbill.com: Have you had any experience doing Neil Simon?
LM: No, never.

 

Playbill.com: He’s not really the kind of playwright who’s done at Steppenwolf that often, is he?
LM: Well, we haven’t done him. But having worked on the shows now, they’re so deep and rich and a real joy to work on. It’s the kind of work I like to do because it bounces back from comedy to drama, sometimes within a line.

 

Playbill.com: Have you had to rehearse both at the same time?
LM: Oh, yes. We’re in previews for Brighton Beach right now and I’m just about to head off to rehearsal for Broadway Bound. So the rehearsal period has been intense. It’s much more difficult that I anticipated.

 

To read more, click on the following link:

http://www.playbill.com/celebritybuzz/article/133966-PLAYBILL.COM%27S_BRIEF_ENCOUNTER_With_Laurie_Metcalf_

 

 

BROADWAY.COM

Noah Robbins Channels Neil Simon in Brighton Beach Memoirs

By Kathy Henderson

October 22, 2009

 

Age: 19

Hometown: Potomac, Maryland

Currently: Making his Broadway debut as Eugene Morris Jerome, the precocious teen narrator (and alter ego of playwright Neil Simon) in the revival of Brighton Beach Memoirs.

Comedy Tonight: The youngest son of a lawyer and a film documentarian, Robbins debuted professionally in children’s shows at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Debbie Allen, who continued to cast him through high school. Oldest brother Jeremy is in film school at Columbia, and middle brother Ethan is a musician in Boston. How did all three boys end up in the arts? “We’re all Jewish?” Noah quips, putting a Simon-esque spin on the line. “No, I have no idea. My dad is a musician as well as a lawyer, and my mom is a writer and painter. We were all bitten by the arts bug.”

Memory Lane: Before landing the role of Eugene, created on Broadway by Tony winner Matthew Broderick, Robbins starred in a high school production of The Producers—but instead of Leo Bloom, he played Max Bialystock, made famous by Nathan Lane. “I like to do over-the-top, vaudevillian kinds of things,” he says, noting that he’d previously played another Lane role, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. “If you had seen me in high school, you would not have thought of me as Eugene.” During rehearsals, Robbins found himself on an elevator with Lane. “I didn’t have the courage to say anything to him,” he admits. “My heart was pounding.” Stage mom Laurie Metcalf provided a happy ending by introducing the young actor to his idol. “He came to see the show and I was in a photo with him—and it’s on Broadway.com!”

 

To read more, click on the following link:

http://www.broadway.com/buzz/noah-robbins/

 

 

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are the first Broadway revivals of two of Neil Simon’s beloved Eugene Morris Jerome plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, directed by David Cromer.  

 

Brighton Beach Memoirs began previews on October 2 and opens Sunday, October 25.  Broadway Bound begins previews on Wednesday, November 18 and opens Thursday, December 10.    Starting on November 18, the two plays will be performed in repertory on a varied schedule at the Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street).   

 

Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound were two of the longest running Broadway plays of the 1980s.  The works ushered in a new era of appreciation for Neil Simon, with praise for the playwright’s hilarious and poignant account of his adolescence, early career and family life in New York in the 1930s and 1940s.

 

Brighton Beach Memoirs originally opened on March 27, 1983 at the Alvin Theatre and played for 1,299 performances.  (During the run of Brighton Beach Memoirs, the Alvin Theatre was renamed The Neil Simon Theatre).   Broadway Bound opened on December 4, 1986 at the Broadhurst Theatre, where it played for 756 performances.  

 

Brighton Beach Memoirs stars Laurie Metcalf (Kate Jerome) and Dennis Boutsikaris (Jack Jerome) with Santino Fontana (Stanley Jerome), Jessica Hecht (Blanche), Gracie Bea Lawrence (Laurie), Noah Robbins (Eugene Jerome) and Alexandra Socha (Nora).

 

Brighton Beach Memoirs centers on young Jewish teen Eugene Morris Jerome and his extended family living in a crowded home in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn in the late 1930s: his overworked father, Jack; overbearing mother, Kate; his older brother Stanley; Kate’s widowed sister Blanche and her daughters, Nora and Laurie.  As Eugene spends his time daydreaming about a baseball career, he must also cope with his family’s troubles, his awkward discovery of the opposite sex and his developing identity as a writer.   

 

Scenic design is by John Lee Beatty, costume design is by Jane Greenwood, lighting design is by Brian MacDevitt and sound design is by Josh Schmidt and Fitz Patton.   Hair and wig design is by Tom Watson. 

 

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are produced by Ira Pittelman, Max Cooper, Jeffrey Sine, Scott Delman, Ruth Hendel, Roy Furman, Ben Sprecher/Wendy Federman, Scott Landis and Emanuel Azenberg

 

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS will be performed in repertory on a varied schedule.  Tickets are available at http://www.TicketMaster.com or 212-307-4100.  

 

# # # #

 

www.TheNeilSimonPlays.com   

 

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS IN THE NEWS

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS IN THE NEWS

BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS

OPENS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25 AT THE NEDERLANDER THEATRE

Brighton Beach Memoirs, one of The Neil Simon Plays, opens this Sunday, October 25 at the Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street).  The production, directed by David Cromer, has been making headlines. 

ELLE MAGAZINE

November, 2009

Mr. Broadway

By Jesse Green

“Shakespeare who?  It’s Neil Simon who’s the most prolific Broadway playwright.  His first outing, Come Blow Your Horn, was a hit in 1961, and his latest – revivals of Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, both playing now at the Nederlander – make for 40 shows in 48 years,  That’s more than 18,000 Broadway performances, including huge highs and, especially in recent years, corresponding lows.  Clearly bringing back two of his best – funny but emotional tales of his own striving – is meant to reverse that.  Now 82, Simon remains primarily a comic writer; he may yet het his last laugh.”  

The November issue of Elle Magazine is currently on newsstands. 

WASHINGTON POST

Young Md. Actor Sails to Broadway’s ‘Brighton Beach’

By Peter Marks

October 18, 2009

NEW YORK – For Noah Robbins, the shift in the universe happened on the escalator at the Tenleytown Metro station. He and his mom were on their way to Georgetown Day School for a rehearsal of “The Producers,” in which he was playing a lead role.

As the stairs rose, his mother saw she had a cellphone message. When she returned the call moments later, the news took their breath away: Noah was going to Broadway.

And not just going, like on a charter bus to “Phantom.” About a month shy of graduating from high school, the slight, talented kid from Potomac was being offered the lead in a Broadway play. The sort of thing that only happens to actors who’ve toiled for years and years, to movie stars seeking a new career challenge or to Ruby Keeler in “42nd Street.”

Just like that, Robbins left the cozy support network of school theatricals for the cutthroat hubbub of the commercial stage. The part itself – that of Eugene Jerome, teenage narrator of “Brighton Beach Memoirs” – was storied, featured in the first major revival of Neil Simon’s autobiographical family comedy since its 1983 debut. That production, which ran for years, happened to do quite a bit of good for the actor who originated the part, Matthew Broderick.

“At that moment, it felt like, ‘How did this happen?’” says Robbins, who just turned 19 but could pass for 15 – the age of the character he plays. He’s sitting in the living room of the Upper West Side apartment his parents, Larry and Leslie, have rented for what they hope will be an extended run of Noah’s excellent Broadway adventure. The play, now in preview performances, officially opens Oct. 25.

Click on the following link to read the story:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/17/AR2009101701970.html?sub=AR

NEW YORK MAGAZINE

October 11, 2009

Broadway Bound

Meet the new Eugene Jerome, Neil Simon’s alter ego in the Brighton Beach Memoirs revival.

His name is Noah Robbins, he’s 19, and he just moved to New York.

“I was accepted to Columbia a few days before I got this part, so, yeah, it was a good couple of days. But of course, being that it’s Columbia, they told me, “You know, we actually have several other students who are on Broadway right now.” I’m sort of a dime a dozen.”

Click on the following link to read the article:

http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/breaking/59905/

BROADWAY.COM

October 19, 2009

Photo Gallery

Addams Family Star Nathan Lane Reunites with Laurie Metcalf at Brighton Beach Memoirs

They co-starred in David Mamet’s political comedy November two years ago, and now Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf will be on Broadway this season a couple of very different shows: He’s headed back to NYC next spring as Gomez in The Addams Family, and she’s currently in previews as matriarch Kate Jerome in Brighton Beach Memoirs. On October 16, Lane and co-star Kevin Chamberlin (Uncle Fester) caught a preview of the Neil Simon revival at the Nederlander Theatre, then congratulated Metcalf and other stars of the show during a backstage visit.

Click on the following link to view the photos:

http://www.broadway.com/buzz/addams-family-star-nathan-lane-reunites-laurie-metcalf-brighton-beach-memoirs/

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are the first Broadway revivals of two of Neil Simon’s beloved Eugene Morris Jerome plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, directed by David Cromer.  

Brighton Beach Memoirs began previews on October 2 and opens Sunday, October 25.  Broadway Bound begins previews on Wednesday, November 18 and opens Thursday, December 10.    Starting on November 18, the two plays will be performed in repertory on a varied schedule at the Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street).   

Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound were two of the longest running Broadway plays of the 1980s.  The works ushered in a new era of appreciation for Neil Simon, with praise for the playwright’s hilarious and poignant account of his adolescence, early career and family life in New York in the 1930s and 1940s.

Brighton Beach Memoirs originally opened on March 27, 1983 at the Alvin Theatre and played for 1,299 performances.  (During the run of Brighton Beach Memoirs, the Alvin Theatre was renamed The Neil Simon Theatre).   Broadway Bound opened on December 4, 1986 at the Broadhurst Theatre, where it played for 756 performances.  

Brighton Beach Memoirs stars Laurie Metcalf (Kate Jerome) and Dennis Boutsikaris (Jack Jerome) with Santino Fontana (Stanley Jerome), Jessica Hecht (Blanche), Gracie Bea Lawrence (Laurie), Noah Robbins (Eugene Jerome) and Alexandra Socha (Nora).

Brighton Beach Memoirs centers on young Jewish teen Eugene Morris Jerome and his extended family living in a crowded home in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn in the late 1930s: his overworked father, Jack; overbearing mother, Kate; his older brother Stanley; Kate’s widowed sister Blanche and her daughters, Nora and Laurie.  As Eugene spends his time daydreaming about a baseball career, he must also cope with his family’s troubles, his awkward discovery of the opposite sex and his developing identity as a writer.   

Scenic design is by John Lee Beatty, costume design is by Jane Greenwood, lighting design is by Brian MacDevitt and sound design is by Josh Schmidt and Fitz Patton.   Hair and wig design is by Tom Watson. 

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS are produced by Ira Pittelman, Max Cooper, Jeffrey Sine, Scott Delman, Ruth Hendel, Roy Furman, Ben Sprecher/Wendy Federman, Scott Landis and Emanuel Azenberg

THE NEIL SIMON PLAYS will be performed in repertory on a varied schedule.  Tickets are available at http://www.TicketMaster.com or 212-307-4100. 

www.TheNeilSimonPlays.com  

The Neil Simon Plays designer John Lee Beatty featured in the Daily News

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/arts/2009/10/08/2009-10-08_brighton_beach_memoirs_backstage_with_designer_who_recreated_brooklyn_on_brodawa.html?print=1&page=all

‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’: backstage with designer who recreated Brooklyn on Broadway

By Joe Dziemianowicz
DAILY NEWS THEATER CRITIC

October 8, 2009

 

John Lee Beatty has made an illustrious career out of designing sets that look so real you could see yourself moving in after the show. Have the mail forwarded, call the man with van and you’re there.

 

So it goes for the cozy, if cramped Depression-era duplex in Brooklyn that’s home to the noisy Jerome family in “Brighton Beach Memoirs.”

 

The revival of Neil Simon’s 1983 autobiographical comedy stars “Roseanne” alum Laurie Metcalf as matriarch Kate Jerome. It’s now in previews for an Oct. 25 opening, and will run in repertory with the companion play “Broadway Bound” next month.

 

Standing in the set’s living room, Beatty sums up the appearance that director David Cromer wanted: “Nothing too yummy.” That makes sense. The period is late 1930s. Money is tight. Everyone is scraping by, making the most of the little they’ve got. Sounds a lot like 2009.

 

“The director wanted it to be real,” Beatty continues, “not something that looked like a delicious Saturday Evening Post cover. He wanted it filled with what real people would live with.”

 

The Tony-winning set designer began his research in April, when he visited Brighton Beach, eyes peeled for inspiration, camera in hand. He hit paydirt when he happened upon a home being remodeled. “There was a hole where the porch would have been,” says Beatty. “I had a great view to the past. I got lucky.”‘

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/arts/2009/10/08/2009-10-08_brighton_beach_memoirs_backstage_with_designer_who_recreated_brooklyn_on_brodawa.html#ixzz0TNcaHHMf