More on The Gingerbread Lady
by Lorraine Lucciola
Cast Members
The Gingerbread Lady
(Order of Appearance)
Ryan Durkay as Jimmy Perry
Michael Cabral as Manuel
Caroline Paradis as Toby Landau
Carol Oliva as Evy Meara
Lauren Costa as Polly Meara
R. J. Strangis as Lou Tanner
Production Crew
The Gingerbread Lady
Technical Director ... Lawrence R. Houbre, Jr.
Stage Manager ... Brienne Riccio
Assistant Stage Manager ... Lauren Helley
Set Design ... Mark P. Fuller, Eric R. Paradis
Lighting Design ... Lawrence R. Houbre, Jr.
Sound Design ... William C. Smith
Hair Styles ... Suzanne J. Houbre
Costumes ... Mark P. Fuller
Poster/Flyer Graphics ... mediumstudio
Lighting/Sound Technician ... Lawrence R. Houbre, Jr., William C. Smith
Set Construction ... Lee Bonia, Cheryl A. Duclos, Mark P. Fuller, Lawrence R. Houbre, Jr., Eric R. Paradis, Mark Roy, Dennis J. Smith, Jacquie Vercellone, Peter Vercellone
Set Dressing ... Mark P. Fuller
Next at YTI
  • Mar 19-21, 2020, 7:30 PM
  • Mar 22, 2020, 2:30 PM
  • Mar 26-28, 2020, 7:30 PM
  • Mar 29, 2020, 2:30 PM
  • Apr 16-18, 2020 7:30 PM
  • Apr 19, 2020 2:30 PM
  • Apr 16-18, 2020, 7:30 PM
  • Apr 19, 2020, 2:30 PM

The Gingerbread Lady

by Neil Simon; Directed by Eric R. Paradis
  • Jan 9-11, 2020, 7:30 PM;
  • Jan 12, 2020, 2:30 PM;
  • Jan 16-18, 2020, 7:30 PM;
  • Jan 19, 2020, 2:30 PM

In the wake of Neil Simon's passing in 2018, what better way to celebrate his work than to stage one of his most uncommon gems, a dark comedy that finds the humor in life's biggest challenges. Our lead, Evy, has experienced her fair share of challenges, including a recent rehab stint, yet manages to take us on a ride of humorous proportions! Weaving through fast-paced scenes of the 1960's New York social scene, Evy must navigate her daughter's straight-laced leanings, her best friend's struggles with vanity, and the desperation of her washed up actor friend, Jimmy, who tries to find a new "off-stage" normal. Meanwhile, her ex-lover throws yet more fuel to the fire before a tragic and touching ending that keeps you laughing through life's curveballs.

- "Mr. Simon's play is as funny as ever the customary...hilarity and joy." - N.Y. Times

Jimmy Perry
Toby Landau
Evy Meara
Polly Meara
Lou Tanner

Director's Message

Since this is the first full length show that I have ever directed, I wanted to select a show that had a little of everything from humor to anger, a manageable set, simple list of characters, props and costumes; and relatively modern. Despite The Gingerbread Lady being written in 1969, it immediately drew me in with its timely and contemporary dialog. Robin Richard (YTI Co-Artistic Director) recommended I read it, as he played Manuel in 1974.....45 years ago! I immediately was drawn in by the writing's bite, wit, sadness, anger, despair and love. The characters are deeply flawed, but have soul and still draw empathy from the audience, despite their shortcomings, through the brutally honest way that they bear themselves to us. After we slough off the unfortunate husk of the occasional bigotry in the dialog, we see the brilliance of Simon shine through every turn of Evy's sharp tongue, Toby's self aggrandizing, Polly's reluctant desire to be like her mother, Jimmy's deep desire for fame and love, and Lou's misguided romanticism.

One of the reasons I chose this play is because of how frank our protagonist, Evy, is with the difficulties of life, and though coarse at times, she has a way of making light of the difficulties we face and tries to find humor in her struggles. This is an admirable quality in my view, and she shows us that if we can sometimes inject a bit of humor into the trials of our existence, maybe we can see ourselves through them a little better, a little sooner, with a little less strife and heartache. She is not always successful in this endeavor but she tries, and that's admirable too. 

This show also deals with addiction, another timely feature of a 50 year old work. Rather than sugar coat what addiction might look like, Simon meets it head on with honesty and humor.

I am energized by this cast and crew and could not be more proud of them. These actors couldn't be further from 'type cast' and all of them had to stretch their abilities to see these roles through. For this I am grateful and I thank them for their patience and trust in me as we brought The Gingerbread Lady to life once again on a YTI stage.

- Eric R. Paradis, Director