Stan Lippi as Ben (left) and Rick Workman as Willie (right) in the upcoming VWCT production of “The Sunshine Boys.” (Submitted photo)
Stan Lippi as Ben (left) and Rick Workman as Willie (right) in the upcoming VWCT production of “The Sunshine Boys.” (Submitted photo)
VAN WERT — Van Wert Civic Theatre proudly announces the opening of our next show, “The Sunshine Boys.” VWCT is honored to bring this Neil Simon gem to the stage.

If you’re ready to send Old Man Winter on his way, “The Sunshine Boys,” opening today at Van Wert Civic Theatre, is the perfect way to laugh your way into Spring! With a cast led by stage veterans Rick Workman as Willie Clark, and Steve Lane as Al Lewis, audiences are in for plenty of snickers, guffaws, hoots, and in the middle of it all, touching moments of a 40-plus year friendship that went off course, but finds its way home again. One of the many classics by Neil Simon, “The Sunshine Boys”, captures what Simon does best, layering touching moments, heart, and how people need one another in between the quick wit, humor and one-liners.

But Willie and Al don’t find themselves together again, after 43 years in Vaudeville, by accident. Willie’s tenacious and tender-hearted nephew Ben, played by Stan Lippi, brings the two together for a television special - dragging them kicking and screaming all the hilarious way. And when their antics catch up with exasperated, stressed-out, had-it-up-to-here Stage Manager Eddie, played by Jim O’Neill, things take a turn that forces Willie to face that the last 43 years have flown by, and maybe he’s missed Al far more than he has ever wanted to admit. Amy McConn keeps a tight rein on Willie as his nurse, making sure he doesn’t try to put anything over on her.

VWCT newcomer Audra Clevenger proves her comedic-timing chops as the sexy but not-so-ditzy nurse to Willie’s goofy doctor character, and J.J. Kurtz owns her moment perfectly as the bored, why-am-I-here actress who just wants to get on with the show. At the helm of all this zany, organized chaos is Director Doug Grooms who, because of this amazing cast of veterans and talented newcomers, has been able to watch this show burst with fun from the beginning, and has directed with a huge smile on his face knowing audiences are going to have a fantastic time.

VWCT has produced this show, doing so originally in 1981.

Show dates are March 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 at 8 p.m. and March 10 and 17 at 2 p.m.

Call 419-238-9689 from 2-6 p.m. Monday – Saturday to reserve a seat. Tickets are $13 (cash and check only).

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