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"The Boys Next Door" at Geneva Underground Playhouse

GENEVA – The Geneva Underground Playhouse will present “The Boys Next Door,” a funny and touching off-Broadway success, beginning March 16.

Shows will be at 8 p.m. March 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31, and at 3 p.m. March 18 and 25, and April 1. For reservations and information, go to http://www.guptheatre.org/show_201203_bnd.html

All photos by Mike Lanners.

The play by Tom Griffin focuses on the lives of four mentally-challenged men who live in a communal residence under the watchful eye of a sincere, but increasingly despairing, social worker, named Jack.

The characters include: Norman, who works in a doughnut shop and is unable to resist the lure of the sweet pastries; Lucien P. Smith, who has the mind of a 5-year-old but imagines he is able to read and comprehend the weighty books he lugs about; Arnold, the ringleader of the group, a hyperactive, compulsive chatterer, who suffers from deep-seated insecurities and a persecution complex; and Barry, a brilliant schizophrenic who is devastated by the unfeeling rejection of his brutal father, and who fantasizes that he is a golf pro.

Mingled with scenes from the daily lives of these four, where little things sometimes become momentous, and funny, are moments of great poignancy.

Larry Boller, a community theater veteran, is directing the show, his first time at Geneva Underground.

Case members include: Zach Gibson, Doug Orlyk, Anthony Berg, Ken Ball, Margie Gustafson, Carrie Schafer, Peter Lopatin and C. Stanley Austin.

Tickets are $20 for adults, with a $15 rate for seniors 65 and older, and students. They are available online, with a credit card, at guptheatre.org. They can also be reserved for pick-up at the door, with cash or check, by calling 630-677-1725.

The Geneva Underground Playhouse is a not-for-profit community theater located at 524 W. State St. (corner of Sixth and State streets) in downtown Geneva. It produces six main-stage productions a year, with other productions mixed in throughout the year. The space also is available for rental.

Theater sponsors include Stanton Properties, the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission and the Kane County Cougars.

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