Thursday, April 30, 2015

Memo from the RTC with Video clip: Lost in Yonkers is Broadway Quality - Norm in The Wave

I could go see every performance of this show and still want more. I'm going back twice this weekend. At least three of the performers are NYC teachers. Check out the video clip below to see the kind of work this little theater puts out. And current and retired teachers play a major role in making this happen.

Memo from the RTC: Lost in Yonkers is Broadway Quality

By Norm Scott
Published Friday, May 1, 2015 at

I filmed last Sunday’s matinee of the Rockaway Theatre Company production of Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers. It was my 2nd time seeing it after taping opening night on Friday. I wanted to see it again with the rotating cast of four boys playing the key roles of Jay and Arty. On Friday Steven Wagner and Aidan Lawrence had played the roles to perfection. Could Raimondo Graziano and Andrew Feldman pull it off again? Can the little theater that could, located in isolated Fort Tilden, actually find 4 young teen actors of such high quality they could carry a major production? Kids who could play comedy and drama equally well? Well, of course, if you know the production team at RTC did you have any doubts?

Before the show began I was talking to a young couple in the audience who had discovered the RTC a year before. They gushed at having what they described as “Broadway quality” theater in their own backyard. “Going to shows on Broadway is so expensive,” they said, “and here we don’t feel we lose anything from that experience.” My wife, who attends many Broadway shows and is a very hard grader on quality theater, also attended this show and afterwards said, “I can’t imagine see this show done any better, even on Broadway.”

I’m running out of space and will write more next week, but I must mention the other equally great performances of the adults. Lynda Browning as Bella delivers a performance as powerful as Mercedes Ruhl in the movie. Steve Ryan as the gangster, Uncle Louie, was told “You were better than Richard Dreyfus in the movie,” by one audience member. And as always, Susan Corning as the frightening Grandma Kurnitz., blows everyone away with her authentic performance. I told her husband, “Aren’t you afraid to go home?” Kim Simeck and Bob Alpert played crucial roles as Eddie and Gert (I’m going to see Jessica Mintzes play Gert next Friday and Sunday). And of course bravo to first time Director David Risley, who has been such a major actor at RTC for a dozen years. The final 3 performances are this weekend: Friday, Saturday at 8PM and Sunday at 2PM. The theater was packed last weekend so call to check availability of tickets (718-374-6400).

I put up a 12 minute video clip from both performances I taped on vimeo:

I dare you to watch this clip and stay away.

RTC Lost in Yonkers Clip from Rockaway Theatre Company on Vimeo.

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