Brighton Beach Memoirs
Brighton Beach Memoirs – Theater Review
Brighton Beach Memoirs centers on young Jewish teen Eugene Morris Jerome and his extended family living in a crowded home in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn in 1937: his overworked father, Jack; overbearing mother, Kate; his older brother Stanley; Kate’s widowed sister Blanche and her daughters, Nora and Laurie. As Eugene spends his time daydreaming about a baseball career, he must also cope with his family’s troubles, his awkward discovery of the opposite sex and his developing identity as a writer.
The problem about Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound is the material seems hopelessly dated, and having seen both of these plays in different iterations, what I remember is the humor with a little bit of pathos underneath it. With these two presentations, there’s a lot of pathos with a little bit of humor lightening it and it really doesn’t work. It’s not much fun to be there and even though the cast is good, the emphasis is really on tragedy rather than comedy. And as a result, it really just doesn’t work very well. Two stars only if you’re a diehard Neil Simon fan.