Lost in Yonkers / My Girl / Vice Versa
An adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning, semi-autobiographical stage play by popular dramatist Neil Simon, this comedy-drama focuses on the difficulties faced by two young brothers forced to live with a group of eccentric relatives. Arty (Mike Damus) and Jay (Brad Stoll) are young teenagers when their their widower father heads South to seek work, leaving the boys with their stern, intimidating grandmother (Irene Worth). Also part of the household is the more likable Aunt Bella (Mercedes Ruehl), an odd duck with a scattered personality and childlike enthusiasm that make her seem more like a fellow kid than an adult. Bella is kept under close watch by Grandma, who reacts strongly when she attempts to show her independence, leaving Arty and Jay as witnesses to a conflict that could tear the family apart. Lost in Yonkers offers much of Simon's trademark humor with a more bittersweet feel than in most of the playwright's other work, thanks in large part to the performance by Ruehl, who reprises her Tony Award-winning role as the troubled but cheerful Bella.