April 20, 2006


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Find yourself in Yonkers
Tech school’s drama group to do Simon
By Hannah Onoroski news@hippopress.com

The New Hampshire Technical Institute’s drama club will present Neil Simon’s classic Lost in Yonkers beginning April 28.

The play chronicles the adventures of a family living in under the thumb of a hard-hearted grandma. When brothers Jay and Artie are sent to live with their grandmother so their father can find work, the two must make some serious adjustments to life with Grandma. Rounding out the cast are Grandma’s daughters Bella and Gert. Bella lives at home with her mother, catering to her every whim, while Gert has escaped and moved out on her own.

Playing the lead role of Grandma is nursing student Lisa Lowe. Playing Grandma is her first lead role, Lowe said, and marks some of the first acting she has done since high school. Now a student and mother of two, Lowe juggles time spent with her family and on schoolwork.

“You gotta do something for yourself, and for me, acting is it,” Lowe said.

Two friends will trade off on the role of Bella, the subservient daughter with a mind like a child’s. Crystal Burch, a native of Concord, and Erin Ruth, of Townsend, Vt., will share the role of Bella, with Ruth playing the role of sister Gert when not playing Bella.

One of the favorite characters from Lost in Yonkers, the colorful petty crook Uncle Louie, will be played by Jason Brodsky, an experienced actor and veteran of several community theater groups, including the Nashua Theater Guild, the Majestic Theatre Trust, and MadCo. Brodsky is an IT major at NHTI, and plans to graduate this spring. He also works part-time repairing computers.

“I act like I can fix the computers — and then I do,” Brodsky said.

One of the more troubling tasks for director Jane Hunt, an adjunct professor of English, was finding an actor to fill the role of Artie, because the play calls for a relatively young actor — younger, in fact, than any NHTI student. Hunt found her answer in seventh-grader Vincent Rappa, a student in Pembroke. Rappa, though young, has already built an intimidating acting résumé, having appeared in a number of professional productions at the Palace in Manchester, and has even appeared in a silent movie, shot in Massachusetts.

Lost in Yonkers debuts Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m. Another show will take place the following night at the same time. The final performance will take place on Sunday, the 30, at 4 p.m.

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Wake up to ‘night Mother