That’s right! The Benicia Old Town Theatre Group has hit the 50 year mark and invites you to join the celebration!
The anniversary season launches with a spirited Neil Simon comedy, The Sunshine Boys.
Award winning director, Douglas Dildine, directs this crowd-pleaser about a once highly celebrated Vaudeville team, Al Lewis and Willie Clark, (played skillfully by Mark Jordan and Jerry Motta, respectively), and the conflicts and emotions which keep the estranged and aging comedians, once known as “The Sunshine Boys”, from reconciling their differences.
Much of the show’s humor arises from Willie’s stubbornness and spite, born of a long-held, bitter resentment of Al’s sudden decision, ten years going, to retire from show business, leaving Willie inconveniently unemployed. Willie’s faltering memory, diminishing independence and existential angst provide further material for laughs.
Willie’s nephew, Ben (endearingly played by Allan Kew) manages to bring the retired comedians back together for a TV special on the history of comedy. When old issues emerge during rehearsal, Willie’s inability to control his rage and stress levels have life-threatening results.
Through it all, it’s clear that the remnants of a once vital partnership, a relationship spanning more than 50 years, are aching to be put back together again, holding out for a better fate than that of a famous egg who fell from a wall.
So... when you make your way to the theater, which I encourage you to do, my guess is you, too, will be rooting for these two longtime pals to work things out.
Highlights of the show
The enchantingly beautiful play of color and light of the pre-show set (Set Colorist/Painter, Beate Bruhl, Lighting Designer, Ken Hein, Set Designer/Construction, Brian Hough))
The fun, frolicking humor, pace and delivery of the Doctor Sketch complete with well-timed, classic Vaudeville sound effects. (Hats off to Douglas Dildine, Director, and actors Jerry Motta, Mark Jordan, Natasha Harris (Burlesque Nurse) and Brian Hough, (Aahh-man Patient) and George Spelvin (Eddie the TV Assistant Director).
The sexy Burlesque Nurse (Natasha Harris), played with stereotypical perfection, and her frilly, feature-enhancing costume (Costumes, Dyanne Vojvoda)
The Registered Nurse (Janet Duhe) her wonderfully nonchalant manner and beautiful British English accent.
Make it personal!
Yes, put everything on hold and head down to BOTTG to see the show and join the celebration! Wrap some happy thoughts around the most vital relationships of your life and come celebrate friendship and partnership or anything you’ve successfully nurtured and sustained through the ups and downs of time. It’s definitely worthy of celebration!
“We loved it! It would make us come to every show in Benicia! Truly fun!” - Jodi Spangrud-Beasley
“A great show from top to bottom! From the lighting, to the set design, to the acting…” - Jim Kushera
“Marvelous! Probably the best show they’ve put on in the last 10 years! If you don’t see it, you’re missing out!” - Dalene Waranietz, Benicia Arts and Culture Commissioner
The Sunshine Boys by Neil Simon plays Fridays and Saturdays, 8 PM, and Sunday Matinees, 2 PM through November 9, 2013. Tickets and Info: 707.746.1269