Brighton Beach Memoirs

Both poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, this coming-of-age comedy shows Depression-era Brooklyn through the eyes of young Eugene Jerome. Surrounded by his large family, fighting hard times–and sometimes each other–with laughter, tears, and love, Eugene keeps his priorities on baseball and girls in a witty and earnest struggle through adolescence.

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Playwright

Neil Simon

Neil Simon is one of the most well-known comedic playwrights of the 20th century. Getting his start writing for television, Simon’s first Broadway hit was Come Blow Your Horn (1961). The decade that followed was a tremendous success for Simon—he had four shows running simultaneously on Broadway by 1966. This prolific era resulted in the premieres of Barefoot in the Park (1963) and The Odd Couple (1965), among others. Despite big box office successes, critical reception of Simon’s work has often been less enthusiastic, though he did finally win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1991 for Lost in Yonkers. Simon has continued writing into the first decade of the 21st century, completing more than 20 plays in his career, including a trilogy of autobiographical plays based on his childhood during the depression that begins with Brighton Beach Memoirs. Portland Stage has previously produced Simon’s plays Plaza Suite in 1975 and The Last of the Red Hot Lovers in 1976.

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