The Sunshine Boys
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Gene Abravaya

The success or failure of most Neil Simon plays is dependent on the skills of the theatre company putting on the performance, and Pacific Alliance Stage Companyís production of The Sunshine Boys provides a very entertaining evening.

Like The Odd Couple, The Sunshine Boys is about two very opposite guys who have a love/hate relationship. Al Lewis (Robert Parnell) and Willie Clark (Will Marchetti) are an old vaudeville comedy team who, after 43 years, split up their act. Each blamed the other for the split. After 11 years of exile from each other, Clarksí nephew, Ben Silverman (Samuel Misner) attempts to bring the two together again for a special TV show honoring the vaudeville era.

Getting these two enemies together provides the dramatic action and the cutting style of comedy that keeps the audience laughing. Like most of Simonís work, itís a TV sitcom stretched into a two-hour play. But in the hands of good actors and a good director Simonís flat characters round out to people the audience can identify with and care about. Marchetti and Parnell are excellent in the parts of these two old comic codgers and bring an endearing quality to their roles that go far beyond what Simon has written. Add to this some special touches by director Hector Correa, a great set design by Elizabeth Bazzano and an excellent supporting cast and you have a fun night of entertainment in Rohnert Parkís Spreckels Performing Arts Center.

For tickets or more information call (707) 588-3400.

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