I have seen many productions of THE SUNSHINE BOYS in my lifetime. I approach each production with a little apprehension because if the actors and director do not get the tone exactly right from the beginning, the audience winds up watching characters fight intensely throughout the show and no amount of humor lessens that annoyance. Well, no such problems exist with the Kent County Theatre Guild’s hilarious production of THE SUNSHINE BOYS. The director and the actors have the right touch from the get-go.
Playwright Neil Simon is said to have gotten the idea for this play from the very real vaudeville team of Smith and Dale. He created the drama by changing one crucial point: instead of replicating the close friendship the two performers, his Smith and Dale became Lewis and Clark who are like a bag of cats. Steve Caporiccio’s Willie Clark is gruff and just barely likeable. He deftly handles Simon’s dialogue and one-liners as does his counterpart, Kevin Smith’s Al Lewis. Both actors keep it light, even when they are going at each other’s throats. They have excellent comedic timing. Director Necia Beck made fine choices with the cast, direction and physical staging of this production.
Carporiccio and Smith carry most of the show, of course, but they must share their success with Ben Silverman who plays the much-harried nephew of Willie Clark. He keeps his performance simple, humorous and focused, even showing some affection for his not-always-appreciative uncle. What is impressive about this cast is that all of them handle the comedy and pace in a consistent manner including the more minor (but always important!) roles played by Travis Kirspel, David Schucker, Jim Plumley, Aubrey Edwards and June Allen. Just as Simon’s snappy dialogue is well-oiled, so is this production. It’s a fun evening and great kick-off for KCTG’s 2011-2012 season.
Ticket prices for this show are $4.00 off regular prices to celebrate the occasion. Senior, Military, Student tickets are $10.00, and regular Adult tickets are $12.00 for this production only. For more information and to order tickets, visit www.kctg.org or call 302-674-3568. Theater is located at 140 East Roosevelt Avenue, Dover, Delaware.
THE SUNSHINE BOYS
by Neil Simon
Directed by Necia Beck
September 23 – October 8, 2011
Kent County Theatre Guild
140 East Roosevelt Avenue