Bloomington Civic Theatre's "Prisoner" having a perpetually rotten summer

Categories: Theater
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The city has been likened to a zoo . . .
​Mel Edison is having a very bad time. He's middle-aged, he's just lost his job, and his New York City is suffering under a heat wave. That's not all: there's a garbage strike, and weird noises rising from the streets and nearby apartments. When the apartment he shares with his wife is robbed, Mel snaps. The question then is whether or not he can gather his scattered marbles together again. 

The Prisoner of 2nd Avenue was a 1975 film starring Jack Lemmon and Anne Bancroft; three years before that, however, it was a Tony nominated play by Neil Simon. It was very much a play of its time, when a sense of social breakdown and mass financial insecurity eroded many people's sense that their lives had meaning, or that the world was fair (we've come so far since 1975).

The production of Prisoner of 2nd Avenue playing at Bloomington Civic Theatre is directed by Zach Curtis and stars Jim Pounds as the put-upon hothead Mel. This feels like the genre of play that was often done to great effect by Curtis's late and lamented Fifty Foot Penguin company: a traditional American drama, full of post-WWII realism, with strong roles for actors and room for a director to flex her or his muscle. 

The Prisoner of 2nd Avenue plays at BCT's Black Box Theater through June 6. Tickets are $14-$18; to order call 952.563.8575 or click here

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