LILLIAN YURALIA

Genre: Drama
by Barbara Ed-Young, directed by Austin Pendleton

The play, a finalist at the Humana Festival and winner of a 2001 Berrilla Kerr Grant, is set on the Lower East Side in 1930. Lillian, a former star of the Yiddish Theater (or so she says) has lived for many years with her lover Jake in a top floor flat of a brownstone. Across the hall, Levy, a refugee from the Russian Pale, lives in a room alone and isolated. All of his family lost in a pogrom, he has shut himself off from the world. When the play begins Lillian stands in her empty front room. With the sudden death of Jake, who has failed to make any provision for them, she now finds herself and their teenage son, Yidl, destitute. Obliged to live off the charity of distant relatives, they are about to leave the only home they've known. Church bells begin to ring the hour. Desperately playing for time she makes tea for her son, and in her cup, she pours an overdose of laudanum. Soon Yidl will begin a frantic pounding on Levy's door. A door he has never opened to anyone.

The play, then, is how the mother and son's visit opens the door to the old man's heart and how the boy, silently suffering from his mother's tragic turn of events, finds his voice. HB Playwrights Foundation mounted the play last January, directed by Austin Pendleton. Reviews are not cultivated by HB Playwrights Foundation, but letters swarmed in attesting to the beauty and power of the piece. One testified, "I loved this play. A story of family and the complex relationship between Mother and Son. A story of loss and its effects, a story of different kinds of courage and fortitude, a story of a time and culture that today's society should not forget." Others called the play "absolutely extraordinary...the best thing I've seen in years...an incredible play...heartbreaking and beautiful."
About the Company: La Mama Experimental Theatre Club

La MaMa is a remarkable arts institution with a world-wide reputation for producing cutting-edge work in theater, dance, performance art, and music. Founded in 1961 by theater pioneer and legend, Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has produced and presented more than 3,000 theatrical productions to date and is a vital part of the fabric of cultural life in New York City and around the world.

La MaMa provides a supportive home for artists and takes risks on unknown work. Artists such as Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Harvey Fierstein, Blue Man Group, David and Amy Sedaris, -and others whose names you haven't heard of yet - began their careers at La MaMa. International artists introduced to America by La MaMa include Tadeusz Kantor, Andrei Serban, Kazuo Ohno and, more recently, the acclaimed Belarus Free Theatre.La MaMa has been honored with more than 30 OBIE Awards, dozens of Drama Desk and Bessie Awards, and, in 2006, Ellen Stewart was recognized with a special TONY Award for "Excellence in the Theatre."

Open:   11/13/08
Close:   11/30/08

Schedule:
Thursday through Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm and 8:00pm
Theater:   La Mama E.T.C.
Address:   74A E. 4th Street
New York, NY 10003
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Cost:$18 tdf/v
Buy Tickets Online or Call: La Mama at 212-475-7710
Company: La Mama Experimental Theatre Club         Official Web Site: www.lamama.org