Review

Jan 27 2005
Jan Sjostrom | Palm Beach Daily News

Palm Beach Dramaworks' production of The Boys Next Door is a fascinating glimpse of a segment of society that's too often ignored, the mentally disabled. It's also funny, without being condescending. Thanks to a strong cast and playwright Tom Griffin's revealing details, the mentally challenged characters have distinct personalities and are deeply human. J. Barry Lewis' direction is sensitive and attentive to the play's many moods, which range from farce to despair. Brandon Morris' Lucien stands out among the many remarkable performances. His portrayal of Lucien's profound disability is fearless. Gordon McConnell, the play's villain, depicts Barry's father with formidable coarseness and belligerence. Jason Quinn's Norman is as lovable as a teddy bear. Michael Collins is an ideal choice as the excitable Arnold. Jeffrey Bower plays the would-be entrepreneur Barry with the bravado of Donald Trump. Kelly Legaretta's Sheila is fun-loving and no shrinking violet. Humor & compassion win out in a rewarding encounter with The Boys Next Door.