Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) brings Neil Simon’s comic masterpiece about show business, friendship and growing old, “The Sunshine Boys” to Arizona audiences. David Ira Goldstein directs one of Neil Simon’s most beloved and acclaimed plays in ATC’s new production that will premiere in Tucson for three weeks of performances. ATC’s “The Sunshine Boys” opens at the Temple of Music and Art, running from March 1 through March 23.
“The Sunshine Boys” is a warmhearted tale about Al Lewis and Willie Clark who kept audiences in stitches for decades. Now estranged for 11 years, they are called upon by CBS to agree to reunite for one last television performance. Past grudges resurface as they prepare to take the stage. Aging aside, they now must overcome their disdain for one another and perform their most famous sketch one last time. This play has all the ingredients of a classic Simon comedy, melding witty humor and touching truths about friendship and growing older.
“I loved writing The Sunshine Boys,” Simon said, “It was a play that allowed me to be outrageously funny but also dramatic at the same time, because these two old codgers were very poignant to me. They were tragic figures in a way, but they were so funny also. They really didn’t know after a while whether what they were saying was funny or was from the act, because they talked in life in the same rhythms that they did in the act for forty-five or fifty years.”
Simon began writing as a sports journalist while in the Air Force and within several years began writing television and radio scripts for many popular programs of the day such as “Your Show of Shows,” “The Sid Caesar Show” and “The Phil Silvers Show.”
Simon’s plays have been popular and critical successes all over the world for the better part of the past five decades. Simon has received more Academy and Tony nominations than any other writer and is the only playwright to have four Broadway productions running simultaneously.
For tickets to “The Sunshine Boys”, visit the website at www.arizona theatre.org, or call 884-8210.