'Brighton Beach' set at high school CENTRAL * Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

January 06, 1993|By Cindy Parr | Cindy Parr,Contributing writer

The trials and tribulations of a teen-age boy living in the lat 1930s will take center stage at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow when Westminster High School presents Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs."

Mr. Simon's play offers an autobiographical account of his adventures growing up in New York in 1937.

Laughs will be the order of the evening as audiences watch how a 15-year-old Jewish boy deals with the two most important things in his life.

"In the play, the character Eugene Morris Jerome fantasizes about baseball and girls while living in a struggling Jewish household. It's a very funny play," said Westminster High drama teacher Mary Lou Grout.

While most productions at Westminster have involved a larger cast, this play requiring a smaller troupe should be a favorite, Mrs. Grout said.

"The seven cast members in this play are a nice group of kids who are experienced and talented. This play is one that has been requested by the students," she said.

"I always wanted to do it because it is such a cute play to do at the high school level. It's a nostalgic play. People who come to the play will hear things they can relate to."

Sophomore Mike Haslam, who plays Eugene, will be acting in his third Westminster High production.

The 15-year-old said he likes the play and finds much in common with his character.

" 'Brighton Beach Memoirs' is one of my favorite plays. When I saw it a couple of years ago at another high school, I wanted to play this character [Eugene]," Mike said.

"I guess I find his character appealing because he is going through what every teen-age boy goes through -- puberty and noticing girls."

While Eugene struggles with adolescence, additional conflicts arise in the household which require the attention of the Jerome family.

"There are money problems, family problems, and Eugene is a handful," said junior Sarah Azizi, who plays Eugene's mother Kate.

"There is a lot of tension that comes out from the play. It shows how a family works together to solve the problems that they have.

"The older audience will get the deeper meaning, the meaning of family. The younger people will enjoy Eugene and his jokes."

Admission is $3 per person, free for senior citizens. Performances also will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the school auditorium. Information: 848-5050.

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