Brighton Beach Memoirs Essay

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While calling the play's humor "surefire," Gill's ultimate appraisal of Brighton Beach Memoirs finds the play stumbling into "shallowness" when Simon awkwardly strives for profound sentiments.

Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs," at the Alvin, is a sentimental comedy decorated with surefire one-liners and inadvertently revealing its shallowness by means of an occasional awkward lunge in the direction of what the author evidently believes to be profundity. (In the midst of all his jokes about adolescent sex and domineering Jewish mothers in the nineteen-thirties, Simon manages to introduce the fate of European Jewry under Hitler, borrowing from that historic tragedy a weight of emotion that his ramshackle little comedy has done nothing to deserve.) Simon has acknowledged to the press that "Memoirs" has a greater autobiographical content than his other plays, and he finds, as autobiographers are wont to do, a seriousness it the heart of the play which...

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This section contains 676 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Brighton Beach Memoirs Study Guide
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