“Everyone in Yonkers is afraid of Grandma”

WESTON, Vt. – “Lost in Yonkers,” written by American playwright Neil Simon, is set in 1942 Yonkers, New York. The story centers around the Kurnitz boys having to live with their bitter, stern and abusive Jewish grandmother while their father, Eddie, works to pay off the a large debt.

Michael Seltzer as Jay, Luke Haefner as Arty. Photo by Hubert Schriebl

Arty, 13, played by Luke Haefner, and Jay, 15, played by Michael Seltzer, opened the first scene in their grandmother’s hot living room, dressed in their best Sunday clothes. They have only visited their grandma a handful of times and are scared to meet her.

Eddie, played by Jesse Liebman, comes from his mother’s bedroom and explains the situation to his sons. He owes a large amount of money to a loan shark and now the loan is being called in. Eddie must pay up and the only way he can get the money is taking a job selling scrap iron in the South. He will be gone a year and needs to safe place for his sons to live.

Grandmother Kurnitz, played by Elizabeth Franz, is a Jewish immigrant that fled Berlin, Germany with her six children and settled in Yonkers. She is a hard, bitter woman that doesn’t cry. She does not want the boys to stay in her apartment.

Aunt Bella, played by Sarah Stockton, still lives at home and is excited that the boys will live with them. She tells her mother the boys are living with them and prepares for their stay.


Uncle Louie, played by Davy Raphaely, sneaks into the apartment. Photo by Hubert Schriebl

During the boys’ time in Yonkers, they meet their Uncle Louie, a Humphrey Bogart character that is running from the mafia, played by Davy Raphaely; and their Aunt Gert, played by Tracy Michailidis, who has a sporadic breathing problem that manifests when she visits her mother. After surviving ten months in Yonkers, Arty and Jay finally learn that even though their family is eccentric, they are still important.

“Lost in Yonkers” is directed by Kent Paul and Assistant Director Tim Rush; Production Stage Manager is Ruth E. Kramer and Assistant Stage Manager is Kyrie Bayles. The apartment was created by Set Designer Edward T. Morris; costumes by Linda Fisher and wig design by Paul Huntley, lighting by Matthew McCarthy and sound design by Robert C. Rees.

“Lost in Yonkers” runs through July 29 at the Weston Playhouse MainStage on the Village Green, 12 Park Street. Show times are Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 802-824-5288 or by visiting westonplayhouse.org.

Aunt Gert, played by Tracy Michailidis. Photo by Hubert Schriebl

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