The cast of an upcoming production of Biloxi Blues at the Ivoryton Playhouse includes, back row: George Mayer, Zal Owen, Conor M. Hamill, Mike Mihm, Andee Buccheri, and front row: Moira O’Sullivan, Chandler Smith, Alec Silberblatt, Ethan Kirschbaum. (Photo courtesy of the Ivoryton Playhouse
The Ivoryton Playhouse will open Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues on Wednesday, April 26. This semi-autobiographical play details his experiences as a young man in boot camp before he was shipped off to serve in World War II. Biloxi Blues is the second chapter in what is known as his Eugene trilogy, following Brighton Beach Memoirs and preceding Broadway Bound, and is the only one in which Eugene is not the central character. Biloxi Blues won the Tony Award when it opened on Broadway in 1985 and ran 524 performances.
The play follows the adventures of Eugene Morris Jerome and his fellow Army inductees as they struggle through basic training near Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1943. An aspiring writer who sees himself as an outsider observing the craziness around him, Eugene hopes to somehow remain “neutral...like Switzerland” but finds himself having to make tough choices. The play is a comedy with real depth about young men growing up, learning about life and how to live together, and finally, going off to war. These men are universal soldiers—facing the same fears, anxieties, and loneliness that grip all young recruits about to encounter the ultimate test of combat. Simon brings his great sense of humor and humanity to this play.
The play runs through Sunday, May 14. More information is available at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.