If your impression of plays by Neil Simon is that they’re only comedies, you need to swing by Covedale Center for the Performing Arts sometime before Feb. 6 for their production of Brighton Beach Memoirs. It’s funny, to be sure, but the first play in a set of three autobiographical pieces Simon wrote is also profound and many people consider it his best, with lots of humor, nostalgia and compassion for people struggling with life during the Depression. Set in 1937, the play is about a family living in Brooklyn in a walk-up apartment. Simon’s central character, Eugene, dreams of girls and baseball and disdains his mundane parents, a domineering mother and a workaholic dad. He idolizes his older brother and puts up with a widowed aunt and her two daughters. It’s a bittersweet story that reflects Eugene’s father’s philosophy: “If you didn’t have a problem, you wouldn’t be living here.” Dennis Murphy directs a cast of seven local performers in this heartwarming and hilarious show.
Go here for show times, ticket information and directions.