Lost in Yonkers

Play

Writers: Neil Simon

Plot

Act One

Brothers Jay and Arty Kurnitz are sitting in their grandmother’s hot and stuffy Yonkers apartment while their father talks with Grandma in her room. There is tension in the air, and the boys complain about their grandma’s cane-swinging temper and mock their Aunt Bella’s mental slowness. Occasionally their father Eddie pokes his head out from the room, wiping sweat from his brow and admonishing the boys to be calm and presentable. The boys are also fascinated by their Uncle Louie, a henchman for the mob--or so they’ve heard. Aunt Bella returns (although not before almost walking past their apartment building). She is frenetic and welcoming, but as Jay puts it, she is mentally “closed for repairs.” Bella asks where the boys’ mother is, and they suddenly turn solemn--she has recently died after a long illness. Moving on to another topic, she offers the boys an ice cream soda from the family’s candy store downstairs, but the boys refuse as their father instructed them. Bella takes

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