“THE SUNSHINE BOYS” GLOW IN WATERBURY AT SEVEN ANGELS


BONNIE GOLDBERG

Old chestnuts can still be filled with a nutty flavor once you’ve cracked open their hard exterior shells and Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” is no exception.  Here two old Vaudevillian entertainers, going by the names of Lewis and Clark, have spent forty-three years doing comedy routines on stage together.

Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury will be overseeing their rocky reunion until Sunday, March 21 as Al Lewis and Willie Clark attempt a comeback after a hiatus of almost a dozen years.

Crankiness and stubbornness don’t necessarily improve with age, like a fine wine or a sharp cheese.  Willie Clark, a memorable R. Bruce Connelly, has yet to forgive his partner Al, a mild-mannered Buzz Roddy, for ending their act abruptly, forcing them both into retirement.

Now almost daily for the last twelve years, Willie has been nudging his nephew Ben, who doubles as his agent, to find him work.  Unfortunately Willie’s memory doesn’t allow him to remember his lines.  That faulty thinking, however, doesn’t stop him from clinging to a long list of grievances over Al’s conduct before he deserted the act.

Suddenly Ben, a long suffering and infinitely patient Max Schulman, has a gold-plated opportunity.  CBS is doing a History of Comedy Show and wants the two men to do their best routine, “The Doctor Will See You Now.”  All Ben has to do is get the two men on the set together without them killing each other first.  Semina De Laurentis directs this fun-filled rampage as the two cantankerous old coots poke each other in the funny bone.  Additional support is provided by Tom Chute, John T. Lynes, Larry Rifkin, Amanda Thompson, Elayne Cassara and Michelle Gotay.

For tickets ($29-37.50, students under 30 $10), call Seven Angels Theatre, Plank Road, Pavilion Park, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 (minutes off I-84) or online at www.sevenangelstheatre.org.  Performances are Thursday at 2 p.m. and 8p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

The theatre will host a Youth Day Open House on Saturday, March 27 from 9 a.m. to noon to showcase children’s activities this spring, summer and fall.

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