Lost in Yonkers

Neil Simon
  • From the Publisher
July 2, 2014

Neil Simon’s inim­itable play about the tri­als and tribu­la­tions that test fam­i­ly ties – win­ner of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

What hap­pens to chil­dren in the absence of love? That is the ques­tion that lies at the heart of this fun­ny and heartrend­ing play by one of Amer­i­ca’s most acclaimed and beloved play­wrights. Debut­ing at the Richard Rodgers The­atre in 1990,Lost in Yonkers went on to win four Tony Awards, includ­ing Best Play, as well as the Pulitzer Prize, and tells the mov­ing dra­ma about the cru­el­ties and painful mem­o­ries that scar a family.

It is New York, 1942. After the death of their moth­er, two young broth­ers are sent to stay with their for­mi­da­ble grand­moth­er for the longest ten months of their lives. Grand­moth­er Kur­nitz is a one-woman Ger­man front — a refugee and a wid­ow who has steeled her heart against the world. Her cold­ness and intol­er­ance have crip­pled her own chil­dren: the boys’ father has no self-esteem … their Aunt Gert has an embar­rass­ing speech imped­i­ment … their Uncle Louie is a small-time gang­ster … and their Aunt Bel­la has the men­tal­i­ty of a child. But it is Bel­la’s hunger for affec­tion and her refusal to be denied love that saves the boys — and that leads to an unfor­get­table, wrench­ing con­fronta­tion with her moth­er. Filled with laugh­ter, tears, and insight, Lost in Yonkers is yet anoth­er heart­warm­ing tes­ta­ment to Neil Simon’s talent.

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