Beach Combers

If only life were like a typical Neil Simon play. Anger would be expressed with quips and gags. So would pain, sadness, happiness, horniness, loneliness and any other -ness you could think of. Existence would play to a laugh track, and the never-ending punch lines would be broad and telegraphed. Yeah, sounds like hell to me too, but a whoooole lotta people like Simon, which is why he's the most financially successful playwright in American theater. Artistically successful? Decide for yourself when the Flower Mound Performing Arts Theatre stages Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs, the first of Simon's autobiographical trio of plays, this one about 15-year-old Eugene Jerome's family life in Brooklyn in the '30s. (The other two plays in the trilogy are Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound.) Brighton Beach is one of Simon's most critically acclaimed works, noted for at least some level of insight, as opposed to gags, gags, gags. Still, expect a few larfs here and there. Performances will be held at 830 Parker Square, Thursdays through Sundays, through April 30. Tickets are $20 to $31. Call 972-724-2147 or visit
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: April 8. Continues through April 30