Opening Nov. 2, 2007
The Boys Next Door
A Comedy By Tom Griffin
Directed by Selisa Hue
G-13 rating for Adult Language
November 2, 3;
9, 10, 11;
16, 17, 18
An Off-Broadway success, this very funny yet very touching play focuses on the lives of four retarded men who live in a communal residence under the watchful eye of a sincere, but increasingly despairing, social worker. Filled with humor, the play is also marked by the compassion and understanding with which it peers into the half-lit world of its handicapped protagonists.
“… one of the most unusual…and one of the most rewarding plays in town.” —BackStage. “Griffin’s play hits squarely on the truth of life with its constant interplays and shadings of triumphs and tears.” —NY Daily News. “… moves the audience to an awareness of how many things in everyday life we take for granted…” —NY Times.
“Boys Next Door” Cast and Crew List
Selisa Hue -- Director
Lindsey Mayo -- Asst Director
Catie West -- Stage manager
Mary West -- Prop Mistress
Arianne Binnings -- Freemus, Warren, Clara
Kenneth Faherty -- Mr. Klemper
Lindsey Mayo -- Hedges, Corbin, Senator Clarke
Jeff Falkenstein -- Norman
Paula Leffmann -- Sheila
Harry Ledbetter -- Lucien
Ladson Poole -- Arnold
Weston Twardowski -- Barry
Mike West -- Jack
For Reservations Call:
Fine performances abound in 'Boys'
Playmakers comedy runs through Nov. 18 Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Director Selisa Hue and Playmakers Theatre's current production of "The Boys Next Door" features exceptional performances.
The comedy by Tom Griffin takes place in a New England city in a two-bedroom apartment where four mentally challenged men reside. These four men share the apartment, but are supervised by Jack, a social worker. In his own words, Jack reminds us that this play "reminds the species of the species."
In this comedy (which features some adult language) we observe how this quartet functions in the real world and learn about the challenges they face.
These mentally handicapped men are brought to life by some talented actors who have totally immersed themselves in their own unique character. They make their characters real and never go over the top. These are individuals who are human, have feelings and just want to be a part of the world.
Ladson Poole is incredibly consistent in his portrayal of Arnold. From head to toe, his body language, speech patterns and movements never wavered. Particularly pleasing are his facial expressions and his ability to subtly interact with the audience. It must be noted that the audience loved his "dance kick" that was reminiscent of the "Seinfeld" character Elaine Benes' dance moves. His character demands your undivided attention when he is on stage.
Jeff Falkenstein's portrayal of the doughnut-loving Norman is solid. Besides having a significant sweet tooth for doughnuts, he has a strong obsession for the bundle of keys that never leaves his side. He displays an array of sweet emotions and heart-warming feelings, especially when he is courting his girlfriend Sheila.
Harry Ledbetter is brilliant as the child-like Lucien. He thinks he can read and comprehend book collections. Although he has difficulty with his "ABCs," the book he is taking on now is the Department of Agriculture book series. In his own mind, he believes that he will be OK if he wears a Spider-man tie.
The last member of the challenged male quartet is Barry, played by Weston Twardowski. Barry's character believes that he is a golf pro and he gives lessons for a significantly reduced rate to anyone interested. He is excited because his father, who he hasn't seen in years, is coming for a visit. Twardowski has really come into his own as an actor. He is very convincing and displays a wide array of emotions that enhance a strong performance.
Mike West's performance as the social worker, Jack, is significant. He is able to convey to us his love for these men, but it also apparent that he needs to move on as the daily interaction with the quartet has become too stressful. The lows he has to contend with after correcting one of these men takes its toll on him emotionally. His character is the "string" that holds the men together and gives them hope. He is their security blanket.
Paula Leffman brings a sweet innocence to her portrayal of Norman's girlfriend, Sheila. The pair share some poignant moments on stage. The chemistry between them slowly grows and is believably enjoyable to witness.
Kenneth Faherty shows us another side of himself as he portrays the lowlife, alcoholic, abusive, one-armed father of Barry. His brief moments on stage are intense and at times disturbing, but his portrayal is strong.
There are some noteworthy performances from Lindsey Mayo and Arianne Binnings, who play a number of characters throughout the show.
"The Boys Next Door" will have 8 p.m. performances on Friday and Saturday and again on Nov. 16 and 17. There will be matinees Sunday and on Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.