Neil Simon calls his "Lost in Yonkers," winner of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for drama, "a special play," one that achieves more of the goals the playwright sets when he begins a work.
"It seemed to hit on almost all cylinders," Simon said in a recent telephone interview from Hawaii, where he was on vacation. "In almost every other play, you always feel you've missed someplace somewhere along the line. But not with this one.""Lost in Yonkers," a family play about a strong-willed matriarch and the effect she has on her children and grandchildren, particularly a sweet, simple-minded daughter named Bella, opened on Broadway in February. The play stars Irene Worth as the grandmother and Mercedes Ruehl as Bella.
The Pulitzer is Simon's first in a Broadway career that began 30 years ago.
"It's funny, in a number of my plays I think I mention the Pulitzer in terms of a writer or somebody talking about it as the epitome of what a playwright would like to get," Simon said. "I don't think there is a higher award for a playwright or a single play.
Simon praised director Gene Saks and his cast, adding that "even though the theater is a writer's medium, it's still a collaborative effort."