Edge

Autobiographical Neil Simon play hits Ring Theater

Neil Simon may be best known for the highly successful and hilarious “Odd Couple” play, television show and movies, but his repertoire of comedies is much more expansive.

“Broadway Bound,” one of two autobiographical plays featured at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre through this week, is one such example: a radiant comedy tinged with starkly serious family issues.

Eugene Jerome (Jonathan White) is a writer who represents Simon early in his career, working for peanuts in a job he does not care for and living with his modest-means Jewish family in post-war New York. Eugene and his brother Stanley (Mark Ramos) aspire to make it big in Hollywood writing comedy, but have little to brighten their spirits. That is, until Stanley comes home and tells Eugene he got them a job at CBS, which he later concedes is more of an audition.

What ensues is both humorous and heartrending. The kooky socialist grandfather, Ben (Scooter Downey), does not know he is hilarious, as is pointed out by Eugene. But he contrastingly has a very complicated relationship with his daughter, Eugene’s aunt, who lives on Park Avenue with her second husband. Ben is loath to live with his wife, who lives with his now wealthy daughter and later moves to Miami Beach. Downey plays a most convincing and comical old Jewish man.

Eugene’s mother, Kate (Erin Austin), has trouble showing emotion and is plagued by a variety of marital issues with her oft-absent husband, Jack (Jonathan Niotis). Austin gives the shows best performance, flawlessly performing her middle-aged Jewish housewife character. Niotis plays Jack, probably the most serious role in the play, very well and conveys the emotions of this troubled character.

Though some of the characters may have needed galoshes to face the icy Brighton Beach, N.Y. winter of 1949, the audience did not come with theirs. No, there was not simulated rain for the play, but there was broad spitting and sweating abounding from Niotos and Ramos, which was somewhat distracting.

Despite whatever minor issues arose, the players performed masterfully, capturing the witty and moving comedy as though they were professionals. Though a long show, it is a most worthwhile trip to the theater.

“Broadway Bound,” which began last week, is playing on alternating nights with “Brighton Beach Memoirs.” Performance schedules and other information may be found online at www.as.miami.edu/theatrearts/ring.

Greg Linch may be contacted at g.linch@umiami.edu.

February 27, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Shakey Rodriguez, the Miami high school basketball coaching legend, vividly remembers the first time ...

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

Retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez gives "Major League" advice to UM’s fall graduating c ...

Becoming the Man of the Hour ...

Always a little bit of a flair for the dramatic. ...

A scholarship created by retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and born out of his love ...

New Multi-State Institute Focuses on Reducing Damage from Severe Storms ...

Eighteen Hurricane student-athletes graduated from four schools and colleges at the University of Mi ...

Miami director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem's incredible career earned her a place ...

Check out the latest edition of Hurricane Magazine. ...

Members from the Miami track and field team spent the afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club in Miami ...

UM administrators, coaches and alums took part in yesterday's allCanes Holiday Shopping Spree f ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.