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Photo: First peek at Sunshine Boys Danny DeVito & Richard Griffiths

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A first look at Hollywood star Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths in Neil Simon's comedy The Sunshine Boys has today (19 March 2012) been released by the show's producers.

The comedy, which premiered on Broadway in 1972 and was adapted into a 1975 film starring George Burns and Walter Matthau, is directed by Thea Sharrock. The show follows Legally Blonde into the West End's Savoy Theatre, opening on 17 May 2012 (previews from 27 April 2012) and is booking for a strictly limited run until 28 July 2012

The Sunshine Boys focuses on Al Lewis (Griffiths) and Willy Clark (DeVito), a vaudevillian team who grew to hate each other and never spoke to each other off-stage during the final months of their 40-year act.

The pair are reunited for a television special on the history of comedy, with much of show's humour derived from efforts to get the two cantankerous actors into the same room for rehearsals.

Joining DeVito and Griffiths as the ageing vaudevillian team are Rebecca Blackstone, Nick Blakeley, Peter Cadden, Johnnie Fiori, Adam Levy and William Maxwell.


Danny DeVito & Richard Griffiths in The Sunshine Boys. Photo credit: Michael Birt

Richard Griffiths' myriad stage credits include West End outings in Equus alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Heroes alongside John Hurt and Ken Stott, as well as recent National Theatre appearances in The Habit of Art and The History Boys.

His recent screen roles include the Harry Potter franchise, the most recent instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean films and the 2005 film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Best known for his Hollywood film appearances, Danny DeVito starred in Off-Broadway productions such as The Comedy of Errors and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in the early 1970s, going on to star in the Oscar-winning film adaptation. On screen he won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy award for his portrayal of Louie De Palma in the hit US comedy Taxi, a role he played for five years.

DeVito's extensive film credits include Terms of Endearment, Romancing the Stone, The Jewel of the Nile, Junior, Twins and Ruthless People. He also appeared as the Penguin opposite Michael Keaton’s Batman in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns and will shortly voice the title character in the big screen adaptation of Dr Seuss' The Lorax before returning as Frank Reynolds in the eighth season It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia this autumn. As a director DeVito’s credits include Matilda, The War of the Roses and Hoffa.

Neil Simon’s career has spanned more than five decades as a playwright and screen writer. His first Broadway play, Come Blow Your Horn, opened in 1961. His second, Little Me, earned him his first Tony Award nomination and by 1966 Simon had four shows running on Broadway at the same time - Sweet Charity, The Star-Spangled Girl, The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park.

He has won three Tony Awards - Best Author for The Odd Couple, Best Play for Biloxi Blues and Best Play for Lost in Yonkers - and been nominated for 17. He also has also written the books for several musicals including Sweet Charity.

The Sunshine Boys is designed by Hildegard Bechtler with lighting by Neil Austin and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph.

Currently playing at the Savoy, Legally Blonde The Musical has announced it will close in the West End on Saturday 7 April 2012. The production, now in its third year in the West End, opened in December 2009 and went on to win seven major theatre awards including the Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Awards for Best Musical.


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