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'Brighton Beach Memoirs' runs at Long Lake Aug. 3-27

"Brighton Beach Memoirs," written by the award-winning playwright Neil Simon, runs Aug. 3-27 at Long Lake Theater. Set in the late 1930s, the comedy-drama follows teenager Eugene Morris (center, Jacob Froelich) and his witty observations about his family, like his father (Brad Livingston) and older brother (Andy Browers). (Submitted photo)

Long Lake Theater concludes its 10th season with "Brighton Beach Memoirs," opening Wednesday and running through Aug. 27.

A funny and heartwarming coming-of-age story, the show centers on 15-year-old Eugene Morris Jerome, portrayed by Jacob Froelich of Park Rapids.

The clever teenager thinks of little else but playing for the Yankees...and girls. But he's more suited to being a writer than a shortstop and the girl of his dreams is out of reach.

Set in 1937 Brooklyn while the country is still in the throes of the Great Depression and Hitler threatens Europe, Eugene's working class parents, Jack (Brad Livingston) and Kate (Shannon Geisen), toil endlessly and with little means to provide the foundation for a better life for their family.

That struggle is complicated by the presence of Kate's widowed sister, Blanche (Shelly Mahowald) and her two daughters, Nora (Jovanna Morgan) and Laurie (Michelle Farlee). Eugene's witty, perceptive commentary about his family's trials and tribulations make this journey through puberty poignant, insightful and delightful.

"Brighton Beach Memoirs" is the first installation in Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical "Eugene Trilogy." Simon is both a Tony and Pulitzer Prize award-winning playwright.

The Long Lake Theater production is directed by Mary Harrison, who brings years of  experience to the stage.

Performances are at 3 p.m Wednesdays and 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays from Aug. 3-27. Reservations are available by calling 732-0099 or visiting Tickets are also available at Beagle Books, Sister Wolf Books or at the door.

    Ticket holders to the opening matinee are invited to a gala at Jewel of the Northwoods B&B following the show to mingle with the cast and enjoy light refreshments.