Lost in Yonkers

Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  3w, 4m

Neil Simon's Pulitzer Prize-winning dramedy beautifully captures the humour, conflict and heartbreak of a Jewish family living in Yonkers in 1942.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3w, 4m
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Period
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
  • Winner! 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
    Winner! Four 1991 Tony Awards, including Best Play
    Winner! Four 1991 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding New Play


By America's great comic playwright, this memory play is set in Yonkers in 1942. Bella is thirty-five years old, mentally challenged, and living at home with her mother, stern Grandma Kurnitz. As the play opens, ne'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.
Lost in Yonkers premiered on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on 21 February 1991. Directed by Gene Saks, the production featured Mercedes Ruhl and Irene Worth.
JAY – 16
ARTY – 13 1/2
EDDIE – their father, 41
BELLA – mid-thirties, neat and sweet and pretty
GRANDMA KURNITZ – Eddie and Bella's mother, a big woman, buxom, with a strong and erect body, 70-odd years of age
LOUIE – her other son, 36, doesn't look like he'd be the hugging type
AUNT GERT – mid-to-late thirties, another of Grandma Kurnitz's children
  • Time Period 1940s / WWII
  • Setting Yonkers, New York. August 1942. The apartment just above Kurnitz's Kandy Store.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)


“The best play Simon ever wrote.” – New York Post

“Broadway desperately needs a comedy, a drama, and a hit. With Lost in Yonkers, Mr. Simon has given us all three.” – Wall Street Journal

“One of Simon's most impressive and funniest plays.” – New York Daily News

“Laughter and tears have come together in a new emotional truth. There are moments in this play when you experience a new kind of laughter for Simon, a silent laughter that doesn't explode into a yuk but implodes straight into your heart.” – Newsweek


  • Musical Style N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal DemandsN/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size N/A (Not a musical)

Licensing & Materials

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Neil Simon

American playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon (1927-2018) is widely regarded as one of the most successful, prolific and performed playwrights in theatre history. In addition to Lost In Yonkers, which won a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize, his plays and musicals include Come ...

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