WMU News

"Brighton Beach Memoirs" staged in Shaw Theatre

Oct. 4, 2005

KALAMAZOO--University Theatre is staging seven performances of Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs."

Performances in Shaw Theatre begin at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 6-8 and 13-15. A single matinee performance begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16.

An opening night reception sponsored by Millennium Restaurant Group takes place following the Oct. 6 performance.

Simon, narrates the misadventures of Eugene Jerome as he trys to understand baseball, girls, and the art of sneaking a snack between meals. Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Prize for Best Play, Brighton Beach Memoirs brought actor Matthew Broderick his first taste of fame (and his first Tony Award) on Broadway. The success of this story on the stage led to the acclaimed movie version.

Named for a tightly-knit, ethnic neighborhood in Brooklyn, "Brighton Beach Memoirs" portrays working-class family life in America during the Great Depression. Under one roof, an extended family, a boy in the throes of puberty, and a Jewish sense of foreboding combine to create a tender story of strength in the face of day-to-day challenges. Part of Neil Simon's autobiographical trilogy of works, Brighton Beach Memoirs tells a tale that parents and teens alike can enjoy. The play contains mild adult situations.

Mark Liermann, WMU assistant professor of theatre, directs "Brighton Beach Memoirs." The cast of the production includes seniors Catherine Dildillian, Beth Lach, Kevin O'Callaghan, Aimee Randolph and Zay Weaver; junior Seth Miller; and sophomore Ghafir Akbar. The production staff includes junior Kristen Carrier, scenic designer; Beth Fausell, costume designer; Zachary Law, lighting designer; and Benjamin Stickels, sound designer. WMU Faculty member Cheryl Bruey serves as stage manager.

Tickets for "Brighton Beach Memoirs" may be purchased by calling (269) 387-6222 or visiting the University Theatre Ticket Office weekdays noon and 5 p.m. Admission for the general public is $16, $12 for senior citizens and WMU faculty and staff, and $7 for students. Box offices at Miller Auditorium and the Epic Center also sell tickets to University Theatre productions.

Additional information is available online at www.wmich.edu/theatre.

The 2005-06 University Theatre season is made possible through a partnership with the Millennium Restaurant Group.

Media contact: Patrick Donnelly, (269) 387-6222, patrick.donnelly@wmich.edu

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