As World War II rages, two boys face turmoil closer to home when their father deposits them on their grandmother’s doorstep to become a traveling salesman. In “Lost in Yonkers” at College of the Mainland Community Theatre Thursday through Feb. 12, the boys decide to make the best of the situation while waiting to reunite with him. Meanwhile, they contend with grandma, their aunt and her secret romance, and their uncle, a small-time hoodlum, in a strange new world called Yonkers.

The show, influenced by playwright Neil Simon’s own upbringing in New York, won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for drama.

“Neil Simon is well known for his comedic plays, and that element is definitely present in ‘Lost in Yonkers,’ but it also has some very serious moments as well,” said director Jim Hackett. “Every member of the Kurntiz family displays unique characteristics from Grandma Bella’s stoicism to Bella’s childlike demeanor to Eddie’s sacrificial loyalty.

“Many audience members will find their own message from the show. It has a lot to say about family — we can’t choose our relatives, but we have to figure out how to live with them. It also speaks to how different individuals cope with the trials and tribulations life can throw at any of us.”

The cast has two current COM student actors: Zach Dockal playing Jay Kurnitz and Hunter Morris portraying his younger brother Arty. These students join a talented and fun cast of local veteran actors — Donna Bane, Frank Green, Cynthia Hernandez, Rick Olvera and Amelia Serrano.

Since 1972, COM Community Theatre has presented over 228 productions including children’s theater, concerts and workshops with attendance of more than a quarter of a million people. The theater has been recognized as one of America’s leading community theaters, setting high production standards and developing one of this country’s most innovative programs.

Get tickets at or call 409-933-8345.

New risk management classes for professionals

The Center for Risk Management will host two upcoming free classes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Feb. 10 at the Gulf Coast Safety Institute, 320 Delany Road, in La Marque.

Tuesday, “How to Develop and Maintain an Effective Lockout/Tagout Program” will address OSHA and industry standards on controlling hazards. It will focus on training those performing maintenance or repair of equipment and systems.

Instructor Bill Smith, a licensed master electrician, completed an electrical apprenticeship at Union Carbide in Texas City before returning to Texas A&M University where he graduated with an electrical engineering degree. An instructor for more than 30 years, he now specializes in electrical safety and process safety management regulations in regional industries.

On Feb. 10, “Workplace Violence Prevention” will help anyone with an interest in their personal safety understand the five basic indicators of potential violent encounters and how to survive one. This thought-provoking class, consisting of practice drills with real-life scenarios, is a must-have as employees and individuals navigate conflict.

Instructor Peter Harrell was certified 15 years ago as a master in verbal judo. He has excelled as an executive management trainer and creates, implements and delivers leadership training for managers and supervisors in seven of the largest agencies in Texas. Harrell is also a senior consultant for Verbal Defense and Influence.

All classes are sponsored by Texas Mutual Insurance Co.

To register, contact SeAlice Hemphill, 409-933-8365 or

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