By Jeanné McCartin
What the “Sunshine Boys” has is three men that deliver thoroughly entertaining performances of classic comedy.
The Neil Simon script is about two estranged, aging, feuding, former vaudevillians. Al Lewis and Willy Clark – of Lewis and Clark – are a famous, comic duo that performed together for four decades. Lewis announced his retirement forcing Clark out of a career, 11 years before the play takes place.
Though Clark states he thoroughly disliked Lewis, he wasn’t ready for things to end. Lewis heads off to an entirely different field, while Clark, now seriously a senior citizen, attempted to continue performing. The two never spoke again. Over the years, Clark’s dislike only festered and deepened for his old partner.
Present-day Lewis lives with his daughter’s family, while Clark resides alone in a somewhat dilapidated, small hotel apartment.
Ben Silverman, Clark’s agent and long-suffering nephew, tries to get him gigs, but Clark’s loss of memory, and curmudgeonly and volatile personality makes it impossible. In spite of Clark’s constant belittling and mean-spirited attitude, Ben lovingly sees after his uncle.
Ben does all he can to bring the two together, in spite of Clark’s protestations, when a national TV station offers a spot for a Lewis and Clark reunion.
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