Boys Next Door
by Tom Griffin
June 3 - 25, 1994
Directed by Kenneth Benton
The place is a communal
residence in a New England city, where four mentally handicapped men live under
the supervision of an earnest, but increasingly "burned out" young
social worker named Jack.
Norman, who works in a
doughnut shop and is unable to resist the lure of the sweet pastries, takes
great pride in the huge bundle of keys which dangles from his waist; Lucien P.
Smith has the mind of a five-year-old, but imagines that he is able to read and
comprehend the weighty books which he lugs about; Arnold, the ringleader of the
group, is a hyperactive, compulsive chatterer, who suffers from deep-seated
insecurities and a persecution complex; while Barry, a brilliant schizophrenic
who is devastated by the unfeeling rejection of his brutal father, fantasizes
that he is a golf pro.
Mingled with scenes from the
daily lives of these four, where "little things" sometimes become
momentous (and often very funny), are moments of great poignancy when, with
touching effectiveness, we are reminded that the handicapped, like the rest of
us, want only to love and laugh and find some meaning and purpose in the brief
time which they, like their more fortunate brothers, are allotted on this earth.