Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Adobe Theater Presents Neil Simon's SUNSHINE BOYS, Now thru 7/12

pixeltracker

Neil Simon is the most successful, most popular American writer of stage comedies of the last 55 years-and, quite possibly, of the 239 years since 1776!

In Simon's The Sunshine Boys, aging Al Lewis and Willie Clark, a one-time vaudevillian team known as "Lewis and Clark", not only grew to hate each other over the course of forty-odd years together, they never spoke to each other off-stage throughout the final year of their act. The stubborn Clark, who was not ready for retirement, resented the wiser Lewis for breaking up the act when he opted to leave show business.

CBS Television has invited the team to reunite for a special on the history of comedy, with the pair representing the vaudeville era at its best. Clark is convinced by his nephew Ben to revive one of the old routines one last time. Much of the humor in the play is derived from efforts to get the two cantankerous actors into the same room for a rehearsal, their differences of opinion once they reunite, and their shenanigans on the actual broadcast. The play displays a great deal of nostalgia and affection for vaudeville.

The Sunshine Boys (Neil Simon's ninth play not including musicals) premiered on Broadway in December 1972 and ran until April 1974. It starred Jack Albertson as Willie Clark and Sam Levene as Al Lewis, and was directed by Alan Arkin. Since 1974, the play has had a Broadway revival, a movie version, a Hallmark TV version, and has been performed thousands of times around the world. The play has also offered meaty roles for numerous "older" comic actors. Some who have portrayed Al Lewis include Lou Jacobi, Tony Randall, Judd Hirsch, George Burns (who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, 1976), and Woody Allen. Some who have played Willie Clark include Jack Gilford, Jack Klugman, Danny DeVito, Walter Matthau, and Peter Falk.

This 2015 presentation at The Adobe Theater is directed by Lorri Layle Oliver and features James Cady as Willie Clark and Philip J. Shortell as Al Lewis, with Jonathan Dunski as Willie's nephew and agent, Ben. Other members of the cast are Patrick J. Brennan, Paul Ingles, Haley Morrell, Sarah Seaton and Sandra Williams.

Albuquerque theatergoers will have seen in recent years Lorri Oliver and Philip J. Shortell on stage together in Arthur Miller's DEATH OF A SALESMAN (directed by James Cady) at The Vortex Theatre, and in ALL MY SONS (directed by James Cady) at The Adobe Theater. Most recently at The Adobe they performed the very successful SOUVENIR A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins (again directed by James Cady). Now Lorri directs Jim and Phil !!

THE SUNSHINE BOYS opens at The ADOBE Theater tonight, June 19th and runs 4 weekends through Sunday, July 12th. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:00pm with a special 'Pay What You Will' performance (to benefit the cast and crew) on Thursday July 2nd at 7.30pm. Tickets are only $17, seniors and students $15. Reservations 505-898-9222 or online at www.adobetheater.org.


Related Articles View More Albuquerque Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You