Twin Beach Player’s Reunites Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys
Can two old geezers find a future past resentment?
For Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys, Twin Beach Players reunites the biggest comedy team in Vaudeville for a nostalgic performance of their once-famous Doctor sketch.
Willie Clark (Jeff Larsen) and Al Lewis (Tom Wines) were the act to catch for 43 years. But 11 years ago, Al walked out, leaving Willie to hold the bag of gags.
Now, in their golden years, CBS asks them to reunite in a show that pays reverence to the great comic stars through the years. It’s a second chance in a lifetime, but resentment — and tension — get in the way. Clark’s nephew and agent (Tom Weaver) has to figure out a way to get the two geezers to bury the hatchet and pull off the television show.
Mayhem ensues when Clark nearly dies trying. His heart attack keeps the double-trouble duo out of the television show.
Fate has another plan for them: living together in relative peace and performing their acts in a retired actors’ home.
Opening night brought not only the old boys but also new comfort to the theater’s small venue at North Beach Boys and Girls Club. Thanks to Twin Beach master carpenter Justyn Christofel, the audience looks down on the action from moveable-bleachers.
But play-goers didn’t fill the bleachers or help keep the Sunshine Boys’ uptempo.
Highlights — like the Doctor sketch rehearsal for a CBS television show and the scene where the boys threaten each other with dagger and cane — bring comic relief to a play slow to take off in Act 1. Act 2 regains momentum as the old boys regain their old timing.