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

After this past University of Miami football game, coach Mark Richt said the crowd came alive during ...

The attorneys for University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga expect indictments to be ...

Few could have imagined this scenario coming into Saturday’s University of Miami football game at ho ...

Alex Cora’s success hasn’t surprised Miami Hurricanes baseball coach Jim Morris. Cora, according to ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

Behind a historic performance from senior Olga Strantzali, the University of Miami volleyball team b ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

The Miami women's tennis team opened play Friday at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Pr ...

The Miami soccer team will conclude its 2017 home slate Sunday against Notre Dame and recognize its ...

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.