Port Polson Players: Sunshine, Simon and Sass

Players launch “sentimental” summer season July 5 with “The Sunshine Boys”

On Stage

The Port Polson Players launch “a kind of sentimental season, laced with humor,” beginning July 5-14 with Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys,” a play they first produced in 1984.

Thirty-five years later, they’re revving up the comedy once again to honor its author, who passed away last August. “He was the master of Broadway comedy,” say producers Neal and Karen Lewing. “Theatres and audiences all over the world owe a lot to the guy.”

The Port Polson Players have produced 15 of his comedies, say the Lewings, and they look forward to shining a light once again on Simon’s story of two aged vaudeville performers. “The play’s wrap-up is pure Simon, mixing humor, wisdom and poignancy.”

The second summer show for the Players is also a revival. Eighteen years ago, local attorney and playwright John Mercer wrote the musical comedy, “Tonight on Wild Horse Island.” It was a favorite in 2001 and the Lewings say Mercer has updated the dialogue and added a few new songs.

The show, staged July 18-Aug. 4, honors Polson’s late Jean Turnage and Ronald B. MacDonald from Butte, who worked together to make Flathead Lake’s largest island a state park. It tells the story of a three-generation family spending the day on Wild Horse Island to celebrate the life and death of the family patriarch.

The season wraps up Aug. 8-25 with “The Savannah Sipping Society.” The comedy, written by the Jones-Hope-Wooten team, centers on four middle-aged single Southern women, drawn together by fate, a little yoga, and the occasional liquid refreshment. Together, they discover, through laughter and hilarious misadventures,  that valued relationships can come from making “new old friends.”

The Port Polson Players perform at 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at Polson’s historic 1938 Theatre on the Lake. Go to PortPolsonPlayers.com or call 883-9212 for info or reservations.