“Hilarious” is what one man in the audience said. “It’s so funny,” another patron exclaimed.
These outbursts were uttered during intermission of “The Sunshine Boys,” Red Curtain Foundation’s current production at Historic Everett Theatre which, it would appear, is getting rave reviews.
I too thought the show quite funny as well as a winning combination of the one-zinger dialogue of Neil Simon coupled with some truly veteran acting talent.
Let’s start with Floyd Reichman who played the curmudgeonly Willie Clark. OK. Not only has Reichman played the role of Willie Clark so many times he owns it, he has some 80 productions under his belt, from theater to screen to television.
The kind of comic timing Reichman unleashed comes with experience and well he nailed it.
Gregg Hays, playing Al Lewis, is another stage veteran of community theater.
And then there’s the talented Michael McFadden playing Ben Silverman. McFadden has been active in theater for 39 years. His performance was spot on.
The storyline has Ben as the nephew and agent of aging actor Willie Clark. Ben comes to Clark with an offer from CBS: the network wants to do a history of comedy special and they want Willie Clark and Al Lewis to get back together again.
Lewis and Clark were a vaudeville act for 42 years but the two men grew to hate each other over that time and haven’t spoken in decades.
Somehow Ben prods the two to bring their act back, starting with a rehearsal where the two men finally have it out.
Unresolved issues and buried resentments erupt in a scene that blends rapid-fire one-liners with a bit of violence – you’ll see – and a splash of poignancy.
This quote from Willie Clark succinctly describes the comedy in this show: “A dead person watching would laugh.”
Shows are through this weekend at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through Oct. 7 at Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett. Tickets are $16.50 for adults, $13 for seniors/students/military and $5 for kids 12 and under. Go to Historic Everett Theatre