15th Season Line-Up

 “You are to be complimented on consistently providing your audiences with interesting, diverse, and sometimes controversial topics.  Productions such as A View from the Bridge result in interesting conversation over dinner after the show.” 
~ Emerson, a Friend of The Vex


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The Fantasticks is a 1960 musical with music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones.  It tells an allegorical story, loosely based on the play The Romancers (Les Romanesques) by Edmond Rostand, concerning two neighboring fathers who trick their children, Luisa and Matt, into falling in love by pretending to feud.  The fathers hire traveling actors to stage a mock abduction so that Matt can heroically seem to save Luisa, ending the supposed feud.  When the children discover the deception, they reject the arranged love match and separate.  Each then gains disillusioning experiences of the real world, seen in parallel fantasy sequences.  They return to each other bruised but enlightened, and they renew their vows with more maturity.  The Fantasticks first opened in NYC on May 3, 1960 and ran for 17,162 performances, and was the influence for a 1995 movie adaptation of the same title.

"Heartfelt.  Hypnotic.  Charming" - Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press


Lost in Yonkers

Directed by Dylan Brainard and Ken Frazier

Written by America's great comic playwright, Neil Simon, this memory play is set in Yonkers in 1942. Bella is 25-years-old, mentally challenged, and living at home with her mother, the stern Grandma Kurnitz. As the play opens, n'er do-well son Eddie deposits his two young sons on the old lady's doorstep. He is financially strapped and taking to the road as a salesman. The boys are left to contend with Grandma, with Bella and her secret romance, and with Louie, her brother, a small-time hoodlum, in a strange new world called Yonkers.

Recipient of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Winner 1991 Tony Award for Best Play.

"The best play Simon ever wrote." - New York Post

Dearly Departed

Not since Steel Magnolias has a more colorful and dysfunctional group of Southern eccentrics gathered below the Mason-Dixon line.  When the patriarch of the Turpin family keels over dead in the first scene, the struggle to get him buried involves the whole clan, including the not-so-grieving widow who wants to put "Mean and Surly" on the tombstone.  The play, written by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones, was later adapted into the film Kingdom Come, starring Whoopi Goldberg, LL Cool J, and Jada Pinkett Smith.

"Dearly Departed is drop dead funny." - NY Daily News

When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?

The setting is Foster's Diner, a New Mexico rest stop that lost most of its clientele when a new highway bypass opened. Employees include restless cook Stephen (nicknamed "Red Ryder"), mousy waitress Angel, and their no-nonsense boss Clark. Lyle, owner of the adjacent filling station, stops in on occasion to break the monotony with his cheery banter. The boring routine of the daily grind is disrupted with the arrival of two couples, the upscale Richard and Clarisse, and the younger and wilder Teddy, an unbalanced Vietnam War vet, and Cheryl, his hippie girlfriend. Complications arise when illegal drugs and guns enter the picture, and Teddy resorts to physical, mental, and emotional torture when he holds everyone hostage. Written by Mark Medoff, When You Comin' Back Ryder received both the 1974 Obie Award and Outer Critics Award, among other performance awards.

"It is a fascinating and commanding play...one of the very best plays of the season..." - New York Times 

Visit the Vex News section to see cast lists, audition information, show dates and times, and for information about volunteering!

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