Review: ‘Lost in Yonkers’

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Review: ‘Lost in Yonkers’

Cast from Lost in Yonkers

Cast from Lost in Yonkers

By Mia Turco '19

Cast from Lost in Yonkers

By Mia Turco '19

By Mia Turco '19

Cast from Lost in Yonkers

Grace Reyes '19, Staff Writer

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I’ve always admired and, to some extent, envied the individuals who can captivate an audience and leave them teary-eyed and applauding until each clap stings. The cast of Grosse Pointe South’s “Lost in Yonkers” did a marvelous job in doing so.

These charismatic characters brought the ups and downs of the life of a Jewish middle-class family in the 1940s to South’s own stage.

Grosse Pointe South Pointe Players and Thespian Troupe #49 presented the play by Neil Simon which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1991.

Two teen boys, Jay, played by Tommy Thams ‘19, and Arty, played by Andrew Fleming ‘20, are sent to stay with their stern grandmother, played by Zaria Aikens ‘17, and their childlike aunt Bella, Julia Rapai ‘18.

The boys’ mother’s death left the family in debt, so they  have to spend a year at their grandmother’s while their father, Eddie, played by Sean Gates ‘19, is away for work.

Thams and Fleming delight the crowd with their whimsical, age-of-innocence humor. Throughout the play, the audience can comprehend the boys’ growth of maturity.

As months pass, Gates sends letters about his well-being. He is only seen in a couple of scenes, but Gates  truly portrays the compassionate, loving father he is playing.

This will be Aikens’s third role here at South; her boisterous personality is animated into this heart-of-steel grandmother. Her character’s sour personality slowly transitions into a compassionate grandmother.

Rapai , who left my mother in tears by the end of her performance, had the most challenging personality to achieve and she fulfilled  with excellence. She begins as an innocent women but by the end of the play viewers can comprehend the depth of this character. Rapai took the stage beautifully, and like her other cast members, captivated the crowd.

Gert, played by Liesel Lagrou ‘17, and Louie, played by Peter Lianos ‘18, are Gates’s  siblings who appear multiple times throughout the show. Lianos  and Lagrou  did a marvelous job depicting their characters.

“Lost in Yonkers,” a play that will sweep you off your feet and fill your heart with compassion for the characters, is a must-see. South’s students did a fantastic job interpreting it as their own and I can’t wait to see what else they have in store.

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