David Green, Jon Lutyens and More to Star in Arizona Theatre's THE SUNSHINE BOYS; Full Cast Announced!
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by BWW News Desk
Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) brings Neil Simon's comic masterpiece about show business, friendship and growing old, "The Sunshine Boys" to Arizona audiences. David Ira Goldstein directs one of Neil Simon's most beloved and acclaimed plays in ATC's new production that will premiere in Tucson for three weeks of performances and continue to Phoenix for an additional three weeks. ATC's "The Sunshine Boys" opens at the Temple of Music and Art, running from March 2, 2013 through March 23, 2013. It continues its run in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center from March 28, 2013 through April 14, 2013.
"The Sunshine Boys" is a warmhearted tale about Al Lewis and Willie Clark who kept audiences in stitches for decades. Now estranged for eleven years, they are called upon by CBS to agree to reunite for one last TV performance. Past grudges resurface as they prepare to take the stage. Ageing aside, they now must overcome their disdain for one another and perform their most famous sketch one last time. This play has all the ingredients of a classic Neil Simon comedy, melding witty humor and touching truths about friendship and growing older.
"I loved writing The Sunshine Boys," Neil Simon has said, "It was a play that allowed me to be outrageously funny but also dramatic at the same time, because these two old codgers were very poignant to me. They were tragic figures in a way, but they were so funny also. They really didn't know after a while whether what they were saying was funny or was from the act, because they talked in life in the same rhythms that they did in the act for forty-five or fifty years."
Neil Simon (Playwright) began writing as a sports journalist while in the Air Force and within several years began writing television and radio scripts for many popular programs of the day such as "Your Show of Shows," "The Sid Caesar Show" and "The Phil Silvers Show." Neil Simon's plays have been popular and critical successes all over the world for the better part of the past five decades. Simon has received more Academy and Tony nominations than any other writer and is the only playwright to have four Broadway productions running simultaneously. Mr. Simon is the author of more than 30 plays, including "Barefoot in the Park," "The Odd Couple," "Last of the Red Hot Lovers," "California Suite," "Brighton Beach Memoirs," "Biloxi Blues," "Broadway Bound," "Lost in Yonkers" and "Laughter on the 23rd Floor." He has written almost as many screenplays, many adapted from his stage plays. His awards are almost too numerous to list, and include the 2006 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor; 1991 Pulitzer Prize for drama; 1989 American Comedy Awards' Lifetime Creative Achievement Award; Tony Awards for "Lost in Yonkers," "Biloxi Blues" and "The Odd Couple;" a dozen additional Tony Award nominations and a 1975 Special Tony Award for overall contributions to the theater; and four Academy and four Emmy award nominations.
David Ira Goldstein (Director) has directed more than 40 mainstage productions for ATC ranging from classics to new plays to musicals, as well as many world premieres including most recently "Next to Normal," and the world premieres of two plays by Jeffrey Hatcher: "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club," and "Ten Chimneys." Goldstein has been a guest director at theatres all across the country including The Pasadena Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Northlight Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Village Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, ACT Theatre, Arizona Opera, Laguna Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Mixed Blood Theatre, and The Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. His musical "A Marvelous Party" has played extensively across the US, winning four Jeff Awards in Chicago (including Best Director), the Elliot Norton Award in Boston, several Bay Area Critics Awards and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Production.
Marc David Pinate (Assistant Director) is a proud ensemble member of Campo Santo where he starred in world premieres of plays by Ntozake Shange, Jimmy Santiago Baca and Octavio Solis. In 2008, he received a three-year directing residency at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, California, from the Doris Duke Foundation, during which he founded the Hybrid Performance Experiment (The HyPE) known for their guerrilla theatre performances on Bay Area Rapid Transit trains and in mall food courts. As a spoken word poet, Mr. Pinate won the 1999 National Slam Poetry Championship, and fronted the group Grito Serpentino, a spoken word and music ensemble which toured extensively in California and throughout the country. Mr. Pinate was a faculty member at San Jose State University's department of Television, Radio, Film and Theatre for eight years, and from 2004 to 2010 he served as the program director for Galería de la Raza, the longest running Chicano art center in the country. Mr. Pinate currently lives with his wife and daughter in Chicago where he is pursuing an MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Returning to ATC, David Green (Al Lewis) played the role of Mycroft Holmes in last season's "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of The Suicide Club." Mr. Green has appeared on Broadway in "Annie," "Evita," "Teddy & Alice" and "The Flowering Peach," as well as "The Pajama Game" for NY City Opera. National Tours include "The Odd Couple," "On the Twentieth Century" and three different tours of "Annie." His many off-Broadway and regional credits include "Mornings at Seven" (Berkshire Theatre Festival); "What About Luv," "On the Twentieth Century" and "Wish You Were Here" (York Theatre Company); "Miami" (Playwrights Horizons); and "Once on a Summer's Day" (The Ensemble Studio Theatre). Mr. Green's television appearances include "Law & Order," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "E.R.," "Murphy Brown," and "Kate and Allie." His numerous recordings include studio cast recordings of "Guys and Dolls," "What About Luv," "Annie Get Your Gun," "The Pajama Game," and "The Anastasia Affaire."
Jon Lutyens (Patient/Eddie) is excited and grateful to be making both his ATC debut and his Neil Simon debut with "The Sunshine Boys." Mr. Lutyens has appeared as an actor and musician with ACT Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, Book-It Repertory, and others. Recent credits include Mendel in "Fiddler on the Roof" (Village Theatre); Lebeau/Amiens in "As You Like It" (Seattle Shakespeare Company); and Ryan Kendall in "8" (Intiman Theatre). Other favorite roles include Fuzzy Stone in "The Cider House Rules," Algernon in "The Importance of Being Earnest," Irwin in "The History Boys" and Georg in "She Loves Me." Mr. Lutyens holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Western Washington University.
Phoenix resident, Lille Richardson (Registered Nurse) is originally from Fort Walton Beach, Florida. She was last seen on the ATC stage the award-winning farce, "Scapin." She has portrayed Rose Fences in "Claudia in The Bluest Eye," and Undine in "Fabulation" (Black Theatre Troupe). She appeared as the Angel in both parts of "Angels in America," as Ms. Muller in "Doubt," and as Elizabeth in the hilarious comedy, "In the Next Room" with Actors Theatre of Phoenix. Some of her favorite roles include Tonya in "King Hedley II," Paulina in "Death and the Maiden," Sylvia in "The Women," Alais in "Lion in Winter," Susie in "Wit" and Karen in "Speed the Plow." Her film and television credits include the role of Shauna in six episodes of the Starz original series "Crash," Linda in "This Bitter Earth," "Truth About Jane," "Young Riders," "Seduced and Betrayed," and Warner Bros. "The Fugitive."
Bob Sorenson (Ben Silverman) returns to ATC where he has appeared in "God of Carnage," "The Mystery of Irma Vep," "The Pajama Game," "I Am My Own Wife," "Permanent Collection," "Over the Moon," "Fully Committed," "Ghosts," "Art," "How I Learned to Drive," "Scapin," "Swinging on a Star," "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Noises Off." Actors Theatre of Phoenix credits include "The Arizona Project," "Henry V," "Illuminati" and "Putting It Together," among others. For Phoenix Theatre he has appeared in "Annie," "Mr. Roberts," "I Do, I Do," "Rumors," and "Play It Again, Sam," among others. Mr. Sorenson's directing credits include "More Fun than Bowling," "It Had to Be You," "The Bug," "Rounding Third" and "The Complete History of America (Actors Theatre of Phoenix); "Steel Magnolias" (Phoenix Theatre); "Personals and Six Women With Brain Death" (Theatre League); and "Social Security," "The Gift Horse," the female version of "The Odd Couple" and "I'm Not Rappaport" (Arizona Jewish Theatre Company). His film and television credits include HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" and the recurring role of Dr. Stephen Kurt on "NBC's Law & Order."
A senior BFA Musical Theatre major at the University of Arizona, Caitlin Stegemoller (Nurse) is thrilled to be a part of "The Sunshine Boys." She has been lucky to have other great opportunities with Arizona Theatre Company, having understudied several productions and taken part in ATC's Cafe Bohemia. Caitlin will be playing Carla in Arizona Repertory Theatre's "Nine" this April, and plans to head to New York City after she graduates. Other ART credits include Lucy in "Avenue Q," Jelena in "Necessary Targets," Jackie in "Hay Fever" and Lucinda in "Into the Woods."
Peter Van Norden (Willie Clark) last appeared at ATC in "Inventing van Gogh." Recent projects include "Crime and Punishment" (Santa Barbara); "Macbeth" (The Antaeus Company); "Love Struck" with Barbara Bain (Los Angeles); "Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers" (New York and Chinese Tour); and Edna Turnblad in "Hairspray" (San Diego Rep). New York credits include "Little Johnny Jones" with Donny Osmond; "Hamlet" with Kevin Kline and Sam Waterston; "Jungle of Cities" with Al Pacino; and "Saint Joan" with Lynn Redgrave. Among his many roles in film and television are leads opposite Oscar winner Jodie Foster in "The Accused," as Steve Guttenberg's inept partner in "Police Academy 2," and as Ralph Brentner in the Stephen King mini-series "The Stand."
The design team of "The Sunshine Boys" includes Yoon Bae (Costume Designer) who recently designed the costumes for ATC's production of "Jane Austen's Emma" and the set for "The Great Gatsby." Other recent work includes the costume designs for "Don Giovanni" at Welsh National Opera, directed by John Caird, and sets for Bernstein's "Candide" at the Imperial Theatre, Tokyo. Other work includes Seoul Arts and "Picasso's Women" for London's West End. She worked closely with John Napier over the last seven years. Ms. Bae was Associate Designer on Trevor Nunn's "Gone with the Wind" (New London Theatre, West End), Assistant Designer on the West End productions of "Birdsong" directed by Trevor Nunn, "Equus" starring Daniel Radcliffe, "Skellig" (The Young Vic), and "Disconnect" (Royal Court Theatre); Dennis Parichy (Lighting Designer) has designed many shows for ATC, the most recent ones being "Ten Chimneys," "The Pajama Game," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure" and Twelfth Night." Brian Jerome Peterson (Sound Designer) celebrates his 27th season at ATC, where he has designed 72 productions, most recently "The Great Gatsby", "God of Carnage", and "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."
Associate Costume Designer is Kish Finnegan and Casting is by Michael Donovan, CSA. Glenn Bruner and Tim Toothman are Stage Managers. The Assistant Stage Manager is Ashley Simon and the Dramaturg is Katherine Monberg.
Arizona Theatre Company offers accessibility services for patrons with disabilities for select performances. Audio Description provides patrons with vision loss a running audio description of the movement and activities onstage through an infrared broadcast system. An Audio-Described performance is offered on March 21 at 2:00 p.m. Interested patrons with vision loss may request a tactile tour one hour prior to curtain. American Sign Language Interpretation is presented by professional, theatrically-trained ASL-interpreters for people who have deafness or hearing impairment. An ASL-interpreted performance is offered on March 21 at 7:30 p.m. Open-captioning allows patrons to read the play's dialogue on an LED screen as the play progresses. An open-captioned performance is offered on March 21 at 2:00 p.m. For open-captioned or ASL-interpreted performances, patrons should request seats best suited to ASL interpretation or captioning when purchasing tickets. Large print and Braille playbills and infrared listening amplification devices are also available at every ATC performance with reservation. TTY access for the box office is available in Tucson at (520) 884-9723 or via Arizona Relay at (800) 367-8939 (TTY/ASCII).
Tickets for "The Sunshine Boys" start at $35, are subject to change depending on time, date and section, and are available at www.arizonatheatre.org or by calling the box office at (520) 622-2823. Discounts are available for seniors and active military. A $10 student ticket pricing is now available for all performances. Half-price rush tickets are available for balcony seating for all performances one hour prior to curtain at the ATC box office (subject to availability). Pay What You Can is March 5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for this performance are available for a suggested $10 donation. (Tickets must be purchased at the Temple of Music and Art Starting one hour prior to curtain on March 5. Seating is first-come first served and is not guaranteed. Cash only, please. Two tickets maximum per person.) For discounts for groups of 10 or more, call (520) 622-2823.
Touching lives through the power of theatre, Arizona Theatre Company (ATC), is the preeminent professional theatre in the state of Arizona. Boasting the largest seasonal subscriber base in the performing arts in Arizona, ATC is the only resident company in the US that reaps the benefits of a two-city operation. Now in its 46th season, more than 130,000 people a year attend performances at the historic Temple of Music and Art in Tucson, and the intimate and elegant Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix. Each season of shows reflect the rich variety of world drama-from classics to contemporary plays, from musicals to new works-along with a wide array of outreach programs, educational opportunities, access initiatives and new play programs. Mark Cole brings national arts management expertise to ATC as Managing Director, and twenty-one year veteran, David Ira Goldstein, continues to excel as ATC's Artistic Director.