The Sunshine Boys, Starring Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths, Now Aiming for 2013-14 Broadway Season

By Andrew Gans
and Mark Shenton
January 7, 2013

The recent West End production of Neil Simon's 1972 vaudeville comedy The Sunshine Boys, starring Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths, will not arrive on Broadway this season.



London producer Sonia Friedman told the New York Times that a Broadway run would not happen until the 2013-14 season because of the schedules of its co-stars.

Sunshine Boys would mark the Broadway debut for screen star DeVito, who previously told the Times, "I wouldn't want to come to New York in something frivolous, just doing shtick. There’s a sadness in the relationship between these two men that really got to me, and I think it’d surprise American audiences who might have a certain expectation about a Neil Simon comedy — and about me."

The Sunshine Boys officially opened May 17, 2012, at London's Savoy Theatre, following previews that began April 27, for a 12-week run through July 28.

It was directed by Thea Sharrock, with designs by Hildegard Bechtler, lighting by Neil Austin, music by Adrian Johnston and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph. It was produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and Richard Willis.

Also in the cast were Rebecca Blackstone, Nick Blakeley, Peter Cadden, Johnnie Fiori, Adam Levy and William Maxwell.

In the play, "kings of comedy, Willie Clark (DeVito) and Al Lewis (Griffiths), aka The Sunshine Boys, haven’t spoken to each other in years. When CBS call for the vaudevillian greats to be re-united for a nostalgic History of Comedy, past grudges resurface as they take centre stage once more. Ageing ailments aside, can this legendary double-act overcome their differences for one last show?"

The Sunshine Boys was first produced on Broadway in 1972 and was later adapted for film and television. Sam Levene and Jack Albertson played Lewis and Clark in the stage premiere directed by Alan Arkin. Neil Simon's 1975 Academy Award-winning film adaptation starred George Burns as Lewis and Walter Matthau as Clark and was directed by Herbert Ross. Woody Allen and Peter Falk played the vaudevillian pair in the television version, directed by John Erman.