Spotlight Issue: January 1999

County Players Presents
Lost in Yonkers

The County Players production of the wonderful Neil Simon play Lost in Yonkers will be presented February 5, 6, 12, 13,19, and 20, at the company’s playhouse located on Route 9D in the Village of Wappingers Falls with curtain times at 8:00 PM.

What happens to children in the absence of love? That is the question that lies at the heart of this funny and heartrending story by one of America’s favorite playwrights. Winner of four Tony Awards, including Best Play, and the Pulitzer Prize, Lost in Yonkers is a moving comedy-drama about the cruelties and painful memories that scar a family.

Set in Yonkers, New York in 1942, the play centers on two young boys who are sent to live with their grandmother after the death of their mother. The boys, played by Patrick Halley and Sean Donovan, are in for the longest and most difficult ten months of their lives when faced with life with their formidable grandmother played by veteran actress Bernice Edman. She portrays an embittered widow and refugee who has hardened her heart against the world. Her coldness and intolerance have had a lasting impact on her own children. The boys father Eddie, played by Paul Coleman, has no self-esteem. Their Aunt Gert, played by LuAnne Volnick, has a speech impediment. Their Uncle Louie (Mark Gleichenhaus) is a small-time gangster. And their Aunt Bella (Zsuzsa Manna) has the mentality of a child. All these problems combine to make a setting in which the boys must find the strength to survive.

It is Aunt Bella’s hunger for affection and her refusal to be denied love that ultimately saves the boys and leads to an unforgettable confrontation with her mother. Filled with laughter, tears, and insight, Lost in Yonkers is yet another heartwarming testament to Neil Simon’s talent.

Director Jeff Wilson, in his directorial debut at County Players, has had quite a challenge in bringing together all the elements which make Lost in Yonkers so endearing. Says Wilson, “I’m very proud to be directing Lost In Yonkers. I think it one of Neil Simon’s best plays. It is both funny and touching, with interesting, well-developed characters. I have a very talented cast and crew who are working very hard to make this a great production. It’s a lot of hard work, but it is also fun, and the final product makes it all worthwhile.”

Tickets $12 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and children under 12. To purchase tickets, please call the box office at 298-1491.

Upcoming Auditions

Auditions for Into The Woods by Steven Sondheim and James Lapine will be held on Sunday January 24 and Monday January 25, 1999 at 7:00 PM. This “musical fable for adults”, when staged on Broadway, starred Bernadette Peters, won a number of drama awards, and enjoyed a long run before going on the road. The common assessment of the New York theater critics was that Into the Woods was a “deliciously delightful musical”. Those auditioning are asked to prepare a song from any Broadway musical and to wear comfortable clothing for the dance tryouts. Needed to form the cast are 9 men (ages 12 through 70) and 13 women, ages 15 and over. For further information about the auditions please call the director, Tom Lawrence at 485-5848. Production dates are in May 1999.

To Park or Not to Park

One of the most frequent complaints we hear is the difficulty our patrons have in parking for our shows. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done due to the geography of the village. We suggest you drop off as many passengers as possible at the blocked off section in front of the theater then continue south on Route 9D to park in the municipal lot on Reservoir Pl. or near the Church at the top of the hill. Parking on the street is also viable but be aware of parking restrictions. And please be sure not to park in any business lot where you could be towed away (e.g.. behind the pharmacy on the corner) . County Players can not take responsibility for any individual’s parking violation.

Letters to the Editor

We would like to hear from you. What did you think of our last production? What suggestions do you have for us? Since this is community theater, we’d like to know what the community has in mind. Please send letters to :

The Spotlight
% County Players
15 W. Main St.
Wappingers Falls NY 12569

County Players History

Twenty years ago: In January 1978, County Players was about to open a production of William Inge’s play Picnic starring Sara Fanelli and Matthew Gorman. Also going on at that time was an aggressive theater restoration program – a program which continues even now.

Ten years ago: In February 1988, the play in production at CP was Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart. At one of the performances we experienced a power failure that knocked out the stage lights (as well as most of Wappingers Falls). The staff of CP reacted quickly and the performance was continued – by flashlights! We guarantee a unique theater experience!

From the President

The year is off and running. We are now well into the season and having a ball. The success of How the Other Half Loves (both commercial and artistic) is a credit to the Company and to our audience. We know that audiences will always be there for the war horses but the Board of Governors is often concerned when lesser known shows are produced. What will the response be from the audience? Well, the response was overwhelming for HTOHL. We are well into the process of selecting material for next season and will likely announce our schedule in late February. Since we are looking to continue renovations in the Theater, particularly replacing the seats, we are likely to offer known shows or shows by known authors. Striking that delicate balance between “artistic adventures” and “warmed-over Broadway” is a struggle we face annually as we have a facility to maintain and high production standards. Large musicals cost over $15,000 to produce. It’s a big investment and we want to make it the best investment possible for us and for you. If you have any thoughts on the Company or would like further information, please give me a call at 485-5848. Thank you for your continued support.

Tom Lawrence – President

We Want You!

Community theater would not survive were it not for you, the community. We cannot thank you enough for coming out to see our productions. We’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to get more intimate with the County Players family. We are very proud of the friendships (and even romances) which develop out of the close working relationships formed through the course of putting on a play. If you’d like to include County Players in your social circle please consider joining us on the production staff of an upcoming show. We welcome all comers whether experienced or not. Every show involves set construction, decorating, makeup, props, lighting, sound, acting, costumes, theater management, publicity, concessions, etc. And it takes a helping hand from a very large staff to produce each play. If you think you’d like to make new friends and have a good time behind the scenes please contact our volunteer coordinator Julie Eads-Woolley at 485-3002 or ask any of our staff at your next visit to the theater.