You gotta know where the laughs are, veteran comedian Willie Clark tells his nephew, Ben, in Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys.” Danny DeVito most assuredly knows where they are, as movie and TV audiences have come to expect over the past four decades; as Willie, he proves his stage timing is razor-sharp under Thea Sharrock’s skilled direction, at the Ahmanson Theatre through November 3.
Judd Hirsch, DeVito’s nemesis in TV’s “Taxi,” is his partner in crime in this delightful enterprise, as retired vaudeville comic Al Lewis. DeVito has the most stage time and the best dialogue, yet it’s a pleasure to see these two old pros sparring back and forth, trading insults and witticisms. The barbs come fast and thick in Simon’s script but it’s worth the price of admission just to watch the actors move the furniture around the stage as they jockey for position, in a game of one-upmanship.
The play, informed more than a little by Simon’s experience in writing for Sid Caesar’s ‘50s TV shows and peppered with classic shtick, has weathered the decades well; its modus operandi is the comedy of antagonism, much like “The Odd Couple.” Justin Bartha is fine as Ben, the nephew who sets the plot in motion by arranging the reunion of Lewis & Clark after more than a decade; Johnnie Fiori demonstrates solid comic chops as Willie’s nurse. Call 213-972-4400.
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OC’s Milena Kitic in LA Opera’s ‘Carmen,’ Radar LA Festival all over town http://www.examiner.com/article/oc-s-milena-kitic-la-opera-s-carmen-rada...
‘Anything Goes’ onboard Segerstrom Center, ‘Dog Logic’ in Costa Mesa http://www.examiner.com/article/anything-goes-onboard-segerstrom-center-...
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Tijuana's biggest annual cultural fest, Entijuanarte, continues through October 6. The free 11-day festival showcases the art of Baja California and the invited state of Durango through theatric performances, art exhibitions, music, dance, cuisine and literature. For info, visit www.entijuanarte.com/.
Chapman University’s Black and White Film Festival continues Fridays through October 25. Screenings take place outdoors on the Atallah Piazza. Visit http://www.chapman.edu/events/bw-film-festival.aspx.
More from Jordan:
Disney’s ‘Little Mermaid’ on Blu-ray & 3D, Wellman doc, Maltin guide http://www.examiner.com/article/disney-s-little-mermaid-on-blu-ray-3d-we...
Miyazaki & son highlight new Asian DVDs, TCM debuts ‘Story of Film’ doc http://www.examiner.com/article/miyazaki-son-highlight-new-asian-dvds-tc... …
The ultimate Carol Burnett DVD set, overdue bio of comedian Ed Wynn http://exm.nr/NQ3DQq
Show biz bookshelf: Jack Lemmon bio, ‘Vaudeville Wars’
Visit my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jordan-R.-Young/e/B001K8E7NW
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