Richard Griffiths and Danny DeVito Will Co-Star in London Revival of The Sunshine Boys

By Andrew Gans
23 Dec 2011

Danny DeVito
Danny DeVito
Photo by Joey L. / FX

Richard Griffiths, the Tony and Olivier Award-winning actor most recently seen on Broadway in Equus, and stage and screen star Danny DeVito will be seen in a London revival of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys, according to London's Daily Mail.

The play about a former comedy duo, which will be produced by Sonia Friedman, is aiming for an April 2012 opening. Thea Sharrock will direct.

Playwright Simon, according to the London paper, will rewrite some of the dialogue. Griffiths is set to play level-headed Al Lewis with DeVito as the more argumentative Willy Clark.

Producer Friedman told The Daily Mail, "I think these two — Richard and Danny — and the play will be just what we need to give us all a lift."



The production will likely play through July with Broadway a possibility.

Griffiths, who was last seen on Broadway as Dr. Martin Dysart in a production of Equus that transferred from the West End and also starred Daniel Radcliffe, won the 2006 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role as Hector in Bennett's The History Boys that also originated at the National. Griffiths also won the Evening Standard, Critics' Circle and Laurence Olivier Awards for his role in the play, and subsequently also played it in Nicholas Hytner's film version. His film and TV work includes the "Harry Potter" films, "Withnail and I," "Pie in the Sky," "Gormenghast" and "Bleak House."

DeVito is a star of "Taxi" on the small screen and "Romancing the Stone" and "Throw Mamma From the Train" on the large.

"Lewis and Clark were the kings of comedy," state earlier Sunshine Boys press notes, "too bad they can't stand one another! A staple on the Vaudeville circuit, they kept audiences in stitches for decades, making six appearances on 'The Ed Sullivan Show.' Now estranged for decades, they agree (at the request of Willie Clark's long-suffering nephew Ben) to reunite for one last performance – but can they get through the sketch without killing one another?"

The Sunshine Boys opened on Broadway on December 20, 1972, at the Broadhurst Theatre with Sam Levene and Jack Albertson as Al Lewis and Willie Clark. A 1997 revival co-starred Jack Klugman and Tony Randall.