Nearly three hours later, that ride ended. Never before had I felt this way about theatre. The production of this play moved me. Moved me in a way that I wish I could take back the last eight years of my life and never go into theatre to begin with. Okay, it wasn't that horrible, but you get the idea. I don't think once I was truly engaged in the play, and I've seen a lot of bad theatre over the past ten years.
I'm not sure where to begin with this play. The Sunshine Boys is about a retired comedy duo that go by Lewis and Clark, or as they were commonly known, The Sunshine Boys. These two gents were popular during the Vaudeville Era, but had not spoken in over ten years. When Clark's agent/nephew puts together a reunion show together at CBS, things start to roll. And so on, and so on. While Simon's wit and jokes are present throughout the script, hardly a note was hit by the actors on this night. The two gentleman playing the leads really took playing old to a new level. And when they were on stage together, I've never seen so many dramatic pauses in my life.
Intermission hit. I flashed back to my college days, when if I didn't like I play, I simply disappeared at intermission. I paid money for this production, and as much as my car was calling my name, I resisted the urge. And my good friend would have been stranded watching the second half, and I couldn't do that to him. So, we sucked down a few cigarettes a piece and put on our brave face as we went back in.
First ten minutes of second act, a hot nurse shows up on stage. Interest perks up. Four minutes later, nurse is gone, old men are back to chewing scenery. Interest wanes. Another hot nurse shows up, interest mildy perks up. Old men yakking at each other, eyelids droop.
That pretty much sums up the second act. I battled through, just thinking of that beer that would be waiting for me as soon as the play was over. Two hours and forty eight minutes after the start of the play, curtain call finally occurred. Nearly three hours for an 84 page play! Neil Simon's play should never run over two hours. Period. I'm still debating over whether this was a director's choice, the actors interpretation, or both. Pacing, pacing, pacing.
So, in conclusion, this production of The Sunshine Boys has been added to my son of a bitch list, right under Freddy Got Fingered. The biggest laugh I probably gave all night was towards the end. That was when I heard the guy a few rows over snoring loudly. Believe me, others heard it too because there was plenty of silence on stage to hear the snoring. So basically, my night broke down to this: Sunshine Boys equals bad, hot nurses will equal good. It's a good thing the bar was waiting...