THE SUNSHINE BOYS, Drury Lane Oakbrook. In his ungainly 1972 Broadway hit, Neil Simon seemed to be making the point that good comedy transcends the ages–though time has arguably drained his script of its social currency. The Sunshine Boys, which follows two cranky coots trying to preserve their legacy as America’s top vaudeville team, might be fun if you’re Jewish and grew up in Yonkers during the golden age of radio. But you’d still be left with Simon’s appalling tunnel vision and dependence on nostalgia.
Tony Mockus and Dale Benson thoroughly inhabit the title roles, eliciting pathos in such a skillful, sure-footed manner that the play can sometimes coast on the simple charm of their performances. But the rest of the production is marred by misplaced sentiment and misdirected energy. Ultimately this doughy, turgid script is harder to choke down than grandma’s knishes.