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March 26, 1991
The Sunshine Boys ran in Dodge City from March 26 – April 14, 1991. A play by Neil Simon, it was produced on Broadway in 1972 and later adapted for film and television. Simon was one of the most reliable hitmakers in Broadway history, as well as one of the most performed playwrights in the world. After two previews, the original Broadway production, directed by Alan Arkin, opened on December 18, 1972 at the Broadhurst Theatre. It transferred to the Shubert and then the Lunt-Fontanne before completing its 538-performance run. The play focused on aging Al Lewis and Willy Clark, a one-time vaudevillian team known as “Lewis and Clark” who, over the course of forty-odd years, not only grew to hate each other but never spoke to each other off-stage throughout the final year of their act. The stubborn Clark, who was not ready for retirement, resented the wiser Lewis for breaking up the act when he opted to leave show business. CBS invited the team to reunite for a special on the history of comedy, with the pair representing the vaudeville era at its best. Clark is convinced by his nephew Ben to revive one of the old routines one last time. Much of the humor is derived from efforts to get the two cantankerous actors into the same room for a rehearsal, their differences of opinion once they reunite, and their shenanigans on the actual broadcast. The Sunshine Boys received Tony Award nominations for Best Play, Best Actor in a Play (Jack Albertson) and Best Direction of a Play (Alan Arkin), and Albertson won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance.
(Cast: Michelle Drenth, Darleen Smith, Ozzie Rodriguez, Ken Pervenanze, Greg Smith, Jim Johnson, & Ken Dean).