The Sunshine Boys is a play directed by Kate Musgrove and took place inside The Talking Horse Theater. Majority of the theatrical play takes place in Willy Clark’s (Addison Myers) apartment in a beaten down hotel on upper Broadway during the 1980’s. Willy is an old and stubborn man who can’t seem to find work and relies on his nephew Ben Silverman (JJ Musgrove) to keep him sane and by allowing himself to have a friend there to hear his random and everyday, vulgar comments. Later, willy’s greatest rivalry in everything Al Lewis (Aaron Krawitz) stops by Willy’s apt. to reherse and catch up. The remaining of the play focuses on this journey the two make with life and how instead of always competing against one another and bickering about every comment or thought, they find things about each other–they truly respect one another. Willy suffers a heart attack and is in bed rest and Al, Willy finds out, has been suffering poor circulation, eye sight vision and body aches. When Al visits Willy, they end up laughing and remincing on each other’s involvement with each other’s lives.
Acting for this entire play was something out of this world! The entire time, I felt everything they were going through was real and not staged, so it would be wrong to not discuss the two leading character’s acting. First let’s look at Willy Clark. Looking back, every part of his performance was stellar and magical. One of my favorite parts came right in the beginning because it drew me to his character. He was watching TV and then all of a sudden a noise began to go off, he thought it was the phone and grabbed it before figuring out it was his stove for his tea. Those few movements and steps were so pactful. from his sleeping on the sofa, sudden jump on the noise and turning of his body and awkward eye glares were never too much but natural and raw; the way anyone would naturally react to something. The speed of what he was saying along with hand gestures also got to me. When Willy(Addison Myers) went to grab the phone, he squinted his eyes and put one hand bent and up above the breast area but it was the precision and quick movement that made it engaging. A second moment that Willy blew me away was when he and Al were rehearsing the “doctor’s visit” scene. The two kept bickering about who had the scene mapped out correctly and finally Willy started saying he was right and pointing to Al and leaning toward him all while lifting his shoulders up and down slowly. It just really showed me how “right” he thought he was and upset too. He showed he was in charge and by doing those slow chest movements I Interpreted how fed up he was (climax scene for me.)Something i like about Willy’s character is his ability to stay strong and not back down when he thinks he’s right because it drives the play and makes it more fun as a viewer.
It wouldn’t be right if i talked about Willy without talking about his partner in crime Al Lewis (Aaron Krawitz.) One thing i loved about Al’s character was his ability to keep the same expressive funny look throughout the play. He would open his eyes wide and slur his speech to mock Willy and i think that made me laugh overtime. One scene I remember as being funny was when Will and Al were going over the “doctor’s visit” scene and in-and-out quest. Willy yells “ENTER” and Al gives that humorous facial expression and jumps, looks at Willy and yells back “ENTER, ENTER. Who say’s that?”For me, after he said that he automatically crossed his hands in and out and then paused and did a shrug. I think Al was trying to show tough love towards Willy then, by correcting him in trying to make the performance better. His pitch went up to down, which is something everyone tries to do when proving a point. A second time I was impressed with Al was when he found Willy had suffered a heart attack. He came to visit, Willy like usual was trying to start bickering with al, Al instead tried to make the conversation positive and by not bickering. At that moment Al was putting his hand in front of Willy’s (in the air at chest level) and trying to convey this “enough is enough” attitude. I think one i love about Al that’s so different from Willy is he’s more rational and not looking to argue. You can see that from his sighs every time Willy tries getting upset.