BWW Previews: THE SUNSHINE BOYS at Stage Door Theatre
The Sunshine Boys - Al Lewis and Willie Clark - were Vaudeville stars and partners for over forty years, but haven't spoken to one another for over eleven. When Willie's nephew Ben approaches his uncle about reuniting with his ex-partner to perform one of their classic skits on a CBS television special about the history of comedy, their eventual reunion is fraught with acrimony, argument, memories, and laughter.
"The Sunshine Boys is the fourth Neil Simon play I've directed and I think it's his best," says the show's director, Michael Leeds. "It's incredibly funny, I mean rolling in the aisles funny, and also quite touching. It's based on a real actor named Willie Howard who was a very eccentric vaudeville comedian. Simon got the idea of taking Willie and giving him a partner whom he hasn't spoken to in twelve years and now they're going to be on an Ed Sullivan special - and they can't stand each other.
"I was lucky enough to get a great cast led by Michael Small and Peter Librach, two pros who have these characters in their bones," Leeds continues. "There's a hysterical scene where they're rehearsing the routine, arguing about everything from the line delivery to the furniture placement and it has one of the funniest moments I've seen on stage. If there was a definition of "crowd pleaser" in the dictionary, it would say: 'Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys'."
Along with Small and Librach, Leeds has cast Ben Sandomir as Willie's nephew Ben Silverman. Also in the cast are George Schiavone, Vicki Klein, Jeanin Gangloff, and Elijah Pearson-Martinez. The show's production team includes Set Designer Michael McClain, Lighting Designer Dean Landhuis, and Costume Designer Jerry Sturdivant. Stage manager is Jose-Luis Ramos, and Paul O'Donnell is the productions Operations Manager.
The Sunshine Boys will run from August 18 - September 24 at Stage Door Theatre. The theatre is located at 8036 Sample Road, in Margate. Tickets for The Sunshine Boys are $48. (Student prices are also available with valid ID). Showtimes: Wednesday, Saturday, & Sunday at 2 pm, and Friday& Saturday at 8 pm. Tickets may be purchased at the Broward Stage Door Theatre box office at 954-344-7765 or on line at https://www.stagedoorfl.org.