Baz Bamigboye reports in the UK Daily Mail today that Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths are in talks to star in THE SUNSHINE BOYS, the Neil Simon comedy about "the one-time vaudeville act asked to reunite for a TV special."
Producer Sonia Friedman is behind the project, and Neil Simon has reportedly since revised the script. THE SUNSHINE BOYS premiered on Broadway in 1972 and was later adapted into a film starring George Burns (Al Lewis) and Walter Matthau (Willy Clark).
Should this new pairing come to fruition, DeVito would assume the part of Al and Griffiths the part of Willy. It is still being determined whether this revival version of the play should premiere in London or New York.
For the full report in the UK Daily Mail, click here.
THE SUNSHINE BOYS centers 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. Then, some years later, CBS invites them to reunite for a special on the history of comedy, with the pair representing the vaudeville era at its best.
After two previews, the original Broadway production 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 original cast included Sam Levene as Lewis, Jack Albertson as Clark, and Lewis J. Stadlen as Ben. Tony Award nominations went to Simon (Best Play), Albertson (Best Actor in a Play) and Arkin (Best Direction of a Play), and Albertson won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance.
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