ACT I of Benton County’s spring production is the comic drama Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon. The play is about a dysfunctional family consisting of a mother and her four adult children living in Yonkers, New York during World War Two. Grandma Kurnitz, matriarch of the family, is a German Jewish immigrant who moved to America with her husband and six children after World War I. She is a stern and frightening individual who dominates her family with an iron hand. By this point in her life, she is in her late 70s, having lost her husband and two of her children, and faces life with a philosophy of “survive at any cost.”

For fifteen-year-old Jay Kurnitz and his thirteen-year-old brother Artie, the family’s only grandchildren, visits to Grandma’s house in Yonkers have been rare. Their father, the oldest son Eddie, has tried to shield his sons from his mother. But the death of Eddie’s wife has left him with huge medical bills and now way to pay them, until being offered a well-paying job which requires extensive travel. Reluctantly, Eddie begs his mother to take the boys for close to a year so that he can pay the debt. Little by little, Jay and Artie begin to learn the many secrets of their father’s family. Simultaneously funny and heart breaking, this is a poignant story of growing up.

In the leading role of Jay Kurnitz is VSHS sophomore Andrew Wirth, with Carolyn Dick playing Grandma Kurnitz. Others in the cast are April Seitz as Bella Kurnitz, Andrew Weyer playing both the roles of Eddie and Louis, Joshuah Rivera as Artie, and Holly Overturf as Gert. The production is directed by Steve Arnold, assisted by Terry Cline, who built the sets. Costumes are by Kelsey Franck.

The show will be performed at the Palace Theatre May 10 and 11 at 7:00 PM and May 12 at 2:00. Ticket prices are $12.00 for adults and $2.00 for children. Advance tickets can be purchased online at, or can be reserved by calling 319.214.0096

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