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Simon's characters are vital to cast of 'Sunshine Boys'

Posted: Wednesday, September 07, 2005

After a not-so-amiable split 11 years before, two vaudeville stars are reunited for what turns out to be a disastrous reunion show.

"This is early Neil Simon; it's loaded with laughs," said Steve Walpert, the director of Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre's production of The Sunshine Boys, which opens Friday.

The play is about Al Lewis and Willie Clark (played by Gene Howard and Peter Bellnier), who spent 43 years working together.

After their breakup, they spent the next 11 years not speaking to each other.

"This play was funny 33 years ago, it is funny now and it will be funny in 33 years," Howard said.

"It's a challenging script," he said. "It's all about timing and pace. You don't have to do anything to improve on the script."

Part of the play is the old vaudeville act that Lewis and Clark had performed during their 43 years together.

Walpert said The Sunshine Boys should "appeal to a broad cross section of people."

"We're excited about it and believe audiences will be excited about it, too," he said.

IF YOU GO

What: Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre's production of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys

When: Friday, Saturday, and Sept. 16-17, 22-24; dinner 7 p.m., show 8 p.m.

Where: Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre, Third Avenue, Building 32100

Cost: $34 civilians; $32 65 and older, retirees, Army civilians, E7 and above; $25 E6 and below; $20 show only

Phone: 793-8552



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