Center Theatre Group announced that Justin Bartha will be joining the cast of Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre replacing the previously announced David Krumholtz who needed to leave the production for personal reasons.
Featuring Danny DeVito and Judd Hirsch, Neil Simon’s classic comedy is directed by Thea Sharrock and begins previews September 24, with the opening scheduled for October 2. Performances will continue through November 3.
In 2010, Justin Bartha made his Broadway debut in Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me A Tenor” alongside Tony Shalhoub and Anthony LaPaglia (directed by Stanley Tucci). Since then, he has also starred in the off-Broadway plays “All New People” by Zach Braff and “Asuncion” alongside the writer, Jesse Eisenberg. Bartha was most recently seen on the big screen in “The Hangover III” reprising the role he played in the last two films, and he also starred in NBC’s comedy series, “The New Normal.” Bartha is also known for his role in the franchise “National Treasure” and “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.” Other films include “Dark Horse,” “Holy Rollers,” “New York, I Love You,” “Failure to Launch” and the upcoming “CBGB.”
In addition to DeVito, Hirsch and Bartha, the cast of Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” features Annie Abrams, Matthew Bohrer, Gibby Brand, Johnnie Fiori, Frank Kopyc, Benjamin Burdick and PaSean Wilson.
DeVito and Hirsch are reuniting on the Ahmanson stage 30 years after they both starred in the landmark television series “Taxi.” In “The Sunshine Boys,” Willie Clark (DeVito) and Al Lewis (Hirsch) are former vaudevillian stars who, after a partnership of over 40 years, are no longer speaking to each other. When Clark’s nephew, Ben (Bartha), gets a lucrative television offer for Lewis and Clark to give one last show, the two are lured into a grudging reunion and sparks fly in this classic comedy of showbiz and friendship.
DeVito starred (with the late Richard Griffiths) in the critically acclaimed production of “The Sunshine Boys” which played to packed houses in London’s West End last summer. Ben Brantley of The New York Times said of that production that “The Sunshine Boys” “… celebrates the clown’s classic gift for turning anger into art. Willie Clark ... has a carved-in-stone list of things that are funny. Words that have “k” sounds, for instance, like pickle and cake and cucumber. Might I add to that list the image of a tufted Danny DeVito in striped pajamas and a sports jacket? ... That’s comedy, folks. And it’s one of the reasons that Thea Sharrock’s production of ‘The Sunshine Boys’ works so incredibly well.” “Thea Sharrock directs a pitch-perfect production,” said Charles Spencer of The Telegraph, “that beautifully captures fleeting moments of tenderness in the comedy without ever turning mushy… a golden evening. ...” Danny DeVito won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Louie De Palma in the hit comedy “Taxi.” He co-starred in two Academy Award-winning films, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” in a role he also played on stage, and “Terms of Endearment.” His other film credits include “The Ratings Game,” “Throw Momma From the Train,” “The War of the Roses,” “Hoffa,” “Death to Smoochy” and “Matilda.” He also voiced the Lorax in the animated feature “The Lorax.” He is currently starring in the eighth season of FX’s acclaimed comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and recently wrapped production on his first horror feature, “St. Sebastian's,” which he directed and produced.
Judd Hirsch made his Broadway debut in “Barefoot in the Park” and performed in Lanford Wilson’s “The Hot l Baltimore” and “Talley’s Folly” (off-Broadway, at the Mark Taper Forum, and then on Broadway, winning an Obie Award and a Tony Award nomination). He won Tony Awards for two of Herb Gardner’s plays, “I’m Not Rappoport” and “Conversations with My Father,” and most recently starred in “Freud’s Last Session” at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Hirsch won two Emmys for the role of Alex Reiger in “Taxi.” Other TV credits include “Dear John” (Golden Globe), “Numb3rs,” “Damages” and “Maron.” Film credits include “Ordinary People” (Oscar nomination), “A Beautiful Mind” and “This Must Be the Place.”
Thea Sharrock won the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Revival for “After the Dance” at London’s National Theatre where she also directed “13,” “Happy Now?” and “The Emperor Jones.” She directed “Heroes” at the Geffen Playhouse, starring George Segal, Richard Benjamin and Len Cariou, and “Equus” with Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway. Her other theatre credits include “The Misanthrope” with Keira Knightly at the Comedy Theatre, the musical of “The Bodyguard,” and last year she directed “Henry V” for BBC TV.
Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” is produced by Center Theatre Group by special arrangement with Richard Willis, Sonia Friedman Productions, Roger Berlind, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Rupert Gavin, Scott M. Delman and Darren Bagert/Martin Massman.