For most of the first act, [Kevin] Adams paints Willie in broad, heavy strokes, telegraphing every blustery reaction before he executes it, laying all his wrath on Ben [Peter Finnegan], who gets chest pains from the stress. When [Timothy] Lynch’s Al finally walks in near the end of Act 1, you can almost hear the cylinders fire up in Keegan’s production. …Lynch piques your curiosity about Al and engages Adams’s Willie in a subtler, funnier back-and-forth, bristling with their old gripes, but letting the reunion happen anyway.
Between acts, one hears fun audio excerpts of old comedy duos, most recognizably Burns and Allen (sound design by Dan Deiter).”
The play’s second act, set in the network TV studio where Lewis and Clark are supposed to do their thing for posterity, moves along at a more satisfying pace, and Maria Rizzo has a rich turn as the buxom nurse in their skit. But Al and Willie can’t get through a taping without bickering, and the angst finally gives Willie a real taste of mortality. We’re quickly returned to his dingy flat, where a capable nurse (Kecia A. Campbell) eats all his candy and gives him as much bad attitude as he doles out.
Scenic designer Eric Lucas…captures in color and layout the depressing dinginess of Willie’s place, and, flipped around after intermission, the sterile look of a TV studio. Brittany Harris’s costumes hit the right note, too, putting nephew Ben in checks and beltless slacks, and Al in an eye-assaulting plaid suit for the skit.