Arts & entertainment

Young man’s blues

Miners Alley hosts Neil Simon classic

Posted 5/16/16

For generations, the Army was the place boys were sent to be made into men.

That’s certainly the case in Neil Simon’s classic, “Biloxi Blues” — but it’s never that simple. Along the way, the characters learn the road to adulthood can …

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Arts & entertainment

Young man’s blues

Miners Alley hosts Neil Simon classic

Posted

For generations, the Army was the place boys were sent to be made into men.

That’s certainly the case in Neil Simon’s classic, “Biloxi Blues” — but it’s never that simple. Along the way, the characters learn the road to adulthood can be both rough and beautiful.

The show runs at Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Ave. in Golden, May 20 through June 26. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday.

“It’s a beautifully told story about a young man’s transition into manhood,” said director Kate Gleason. “There are a lot of funny moments, but there are also some really beautiful moments of drama.”

“Bilxoi Blues” is the second part of a trilogy focusing on Simon’s semi-biographical character, Eugene Morris Jerome. Eugene (John Hauser) gets drafted into the Army during World War II and is sent to Biloxi, Mississippi, for his basic training. The new recruits serve under hard-nosed Sgt. Merwin J. Toomey (Jude Moran) and must find their feet under their new circumstances.

“The story is told through Eugene’s perspective, but it’s really about all these boys,” said Hauser. “It’s about them becoming their own people in this time and place.”

This is the first time Gleason and Hauser have worked at Miners Alley, but they said they’re having a blast bringing the show together, especially in the theater’s intimate space.

“Eugene talks to the audiences a lot, so I love how close everyone is in Miners Alley,” Hauser said. “It allows me to bring the audience in instead of pushing the characters out.”

The fine-tuning process continued all the way up to opening, and Gleason said the cast has been working well together.

“It’s both adorable and heartbreaking to see these boys in the Army uniforms,” she said. “When you think about where they’re going in the war, it adds another layer.”

The camaraderie between the boys, both during the performance and off stage, is what makes the show special, Hauser said.

“It’s a great ensemble — there’s no weak links,” he said. “It’s so funny, and everyone is perfectly cast in this show.”

Miners Alley Playhouse, theater, arts, Golden, Biloxi Blues

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