sunshine pg 5 1-12-23


Sunshine Boys
Top: Michael Celularo as Al Lewis and David Hopcroft as Willie Clark.  Above: David Hopcroft (Willie Clark), Wendy Harris (Eddie), Michael Celularo (Al Lewis). Photos by Jeff Buchbinder.

‘Sunshine Boys’
will light up the
Bradley stage
PUTNAM — Once again vaudeville takes the stage at the historic Bradley Playhouse when the Theatre of Northeastern Connecticut presents the memories, miseries, and laughs of Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys.” This engaging homage to the tradition of vaudeville opens January 20th and runs for two weekends.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m.  Jan. 20, 21, 27 and 28 and at 2 p.m. Jan. 22 and 29. Tickets are $23 for adults, $20 for seniors, students, veterans and first responders. Please note, this show runs for two weekends, not three. All seats are reserved. Reservations may be made with a major credit card online at or by calling 860-928-7887. Tickets may be purchased at the theater box office, either before the performance, or at the door if available.
This is the opening show of the 2023 theater season, featuring the theme “Stage and Screen”; a celebration of plays that were also made into motion pictures. Come and check out your favorites and let us know which version you prefer.
The TNECT production is directed by Tonya Leigh Brock who is assisted by Sarah Oschmann. The Sunshine Boys are played by David S. Hopcroft as Willie Clark and Michael Celularo as Al Lewis. Preston Arnold appears as Clark’s long suffering nephew Ben.  Brittany-Paige Kimlingen is the Nurse, Sarri Patterson plays the Registered Nurse, Wendy Harris is Eddie, and the part of the Patient is played by James Asal. Eric J. Molloy is the Director/Announcer and Amy Hall is understudy for the Nurse and is the sound board operator.
The Bradley Playhouse was completed by Ransom Bradley in 1901 and was a showplace for vaudeville, national touring companies fresh from Broadway, and silent films complete with piano accompaniment. “Talkies” were first presented in 1928. Movies continued to be shown at the theater until 1984 when the Northeast Repertory Theatre brought live theater back to the Bradley. The current theater group incorporated in 1991 as the Theatre of Northeastern Connecticut and continues to bring live entertainment to the “Quiet Corner”.
Neil Simon is a well-loved, prolific writer whose plays often take place in his native New York City. He began his career as a writer for Sid Caesar in the 1950s and continued on to become one of the best-known authors of comedy, both on stage and on screen. Mr. Simon was nominated for 17 Tony Awards and won three, the 1991 Pulitzer for Lost in Yonkers, and four Academy Awards for Best Screenplay. Some of his other plays include Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple and Plaza Suite.
The Sunshine Boys introduces us to “Lewis and Clark”, a comedy team from the golden age of vaudeville. Lewis retired years before, but Clark is still trying to pick up bit parts and commercials with the help of his agent nephew. The men grew to hate each other and haven’t spoken since their act broke up. Clark’s nephew convinces them to reunite for a television special on the history of comedy and chaos results as they attempt to recreate their most famous comedy routine.


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