Brighton Beach Memories at Shoreline CC Drama through next weekend

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Aunt Blanche and daughters come to stay
Maleah Metz Photography


Brighton Beach Memoirs 
By Neil Simon
Directed by Bryar Golden
Stage Management by Elise Oziel
Set and Lighting design by Richard Schafer
Costumes designed by Meleta Buckstaff
Shoreline Community College Theater
December 1-10, 2017

Review by Doug Gochanour

Brighton Beach Memoirs is a semi-autobiographical story, based upon the family memories of Neil Simon. He depicts some happy experiences, but also the stressful pressures of living in a confined space with many people grating upon each other.

It is set in 1937, with a slowly recovering economy after the Depression, and impending war overseas. Even though there was little money available for their own household, this Jewish family knew that some of their relatives were facing life-threatening situations in Europe.

Eugene Jerome, who is perfectly played by Carson Buck-Flinchum, narrates the story. Eugene is a teenager with a desire to become a writer. He keeps the audience informed about his perspective on life, as he moves in and out of scenes. His interactions and conversations with his brother Stanley (Tucker Leidholm) provide lots of laughs.

The parents, Jack (Danny Bracy) and Kate (Allison Letterman) are doing their best to provide for their family. It becomes more difficult when they take in Kate’s sister Blanche (Courtney Heuer), who became a widow. Blanche and her two daughters, Nora (Camaira Metz) and Laurie (Cassia Ward), compound the complications of close quarters living.

Jerome's parents share concerns
Maleah Metz Photography


It is a struggle for everyone to get along and move toward their individual desires. Eugene provides asides to the audience. As he observes, love and loathing are totally linked to family relationships and are fully possible outcomes. This Brooklyn house provides a slew of materials for his writing.

The set is well designed, as it allows the audience to view various groupings of characters wherever they are in the home. With lighting, the scenes can jump from bedrooms to living room, to the backyard, to the dining room table. When the whole family is together at this crowded table, it is a time to share information, and hopefully resolve problems and issues.

This production is well done and provides a fun activity for the Holiday Season. Do plan to attend, and be ready for a good time.

Shoreline Community College Theater, Bldg 1600, 16101 Greenwood Ave N, Shoreline 98133. Free parking. Tickets available through Brown Paper Tickets.



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