Van Dyke Brothers Will Spread Some Sunshine

Our friends at TheaterJones, the local theater news site, break the news that TV legend Dick Van Dyke and younger brother Jerry are teaming up to star in Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys for a three-night gig hereabouts. They'll do the show, September 8 and 9 at the Eisemann Center in Richardson and September 10 at Casa Mañana in Fort Worth, with proceeds benefiting two local children's hospital charities.

Dick, 85, and Jerry, 80, starred in a sold-out five-night run of the show last spring at the Malibu Stage Company in Southern California. Jerry came to Dallas a couple of weeks ago to scout theaters where they could book the comedy in which they play cantankerous retired vaudevillians who end their 40-year feud to do one last appearance on a TV comedy show. On that visit to Dallas, Jerry caught a performance of The Wiz at Dallas Theater Center and at the after-show talkback met actress Denise Lee, who was playing Glinda the good witch.

He's now cast her as the nurse in The Sunshine Boys.

This is the first time the Van Dykes have done a play together, but they've shared the small screen plenty of times. Jerry played Dick's younger brother Stacy Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s. After that show ended, Dick went on to several other hit TV series, including his last one, Diagnosis: Murder. Jerry spent nearly a decade as the second banana on the sitcom Coach and four more years on Yes, Dear.

Jerry admits the brothers are all wrong for their roles in the Simon play. "We're way older than we're supposed to be. We're too old to do it," he told a Malibu paper last spring. "We're both afraid we're going to fall down."

Tickets for the show aren't on sale yet, but we'll let you know when they are. The Eisemann box office is 972-744-4650 or eisemanncenter.com. Ticketmaster handles ticketing for Casa Mañana at 800-745-3000 or at ticketmaster.com. Proceeds from the Eisemann shows will benefit the Children's Cancer Fund of Dallas; in Fort Worth, Cook Children's Hospital.

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