'Lost in Yonkers'

Neil Simon's play has a melancholy undertow. Mercedes Ruehl (pictured) and Irene Worth, who each won Tonys for their performances on Broadway, bring out its full, racking sadness under Martha Coolidge's direction. Ruehl plays a womanly child whose will is stunted by Worth, her ogre of a mother. It's the summer of 1942, and Ruehl's recently widowed brother (Jack Laufer) deposits his two young sons (Brad Stoll, left, and Mike Damus) with his unaccommodating mother. The atmosphere inside their Yonkers apartment over their candy shop is thick with dreams: deferred, dashed and rejuvenated. The other major dreamer is Ruehl's other brother (Richard Dreyfuss), a petty hoodlum who hides out there for a time (Cinemax Friday at 8 p.m.).

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