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The Odd Couple
a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Neil Simon

COMPANY : Players Guild @ Sugar Hill [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The Eagle Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 5419

SHOWING : January 11, 2019 - January 26, 2019

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

This classic comedy opens as a group of the guys assemble for cards in the apartment of divorced Oscar Madison. And if the mess is any indication, it’s no wonder that his wife left him. Late to arrive is Felix Unger, who has just been separated from his wife. Fastidious, depressed, and none too tense, Felix seems suicidal, but as the action unfolds, Oscar becomes the one with murder on his mind when the clean freak and the slob ultimately decide to room together with hilarious results as The Odd Couple is born.


CAST & CREW LIST
Speed Tom Heagy
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REVIEWS

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Full House
by playgoer
Monday, January 14, 2019
3.0
Neil Simon’s comedy "The Odd Couple" is an almost foolproof script when the roles of slob Oscar Madison and neatnik Felix Ungar are ideally cast. In the Players Guild@Sugar Hill production, the director’s note hints at casting problems when it’s noted that the original Oscar dropped out and was replaced by David Lawler moving from the role of Felix to that of Oscar. Mr. Lawler isn’t the problem, though; he is thoroughly believable as Oscar. It’s Rick Sutter, the replacement Felix, who’s somewhat of a disappointment. That’s highlighted by his costume in the first scene, which shows ever-present wrinkles both in shirt and pants.

All the men’s costumes are perhaps a bit too modern-day for the time frame of the script, but it doesn’t really mar the production. While there are some nods to the 1960’s in the women’s costumes and in props (a banner and an actual pink Puratron), no extraordinary effort has been expended to marry the production to a specific, prototypical moment in history.

The set, designed by Terry Mulligan and Fred St. Laurent and sturdily constructed with the help of Tom Heagy and Craig Murphy, is a fairly generic room. There’s the door to the apartment up left, French doors to a balcony right, and openings to the kitchen and bedrooms/bathroom up right. A wall air conditioner on the stage left wall is a nice touch, although the cityscape above it looks like a failed attempt at simulating a window. A dining table and chairs down right are used for the poker scenes; a sofa and chair and tables and bookcase fill out the rest of the space. The furniture seems more worn than the walls.

Ane Mulligan, succeeding Fred St. Laurent as director, has created a smoothly-flowing production that highlights the comedy of the script. There are lots of bits of stage business that add touches of hilarity to an already-funny show. Characters are nicely etched, with individual personalities meshing in a believable fashion. Lauren Lawler and Susan Briggs, real-life sisters playing the fictional Pigeon sisters, are an especial delight. The poker gang of Tom Heagy (Speed), Craig S. Murphy (Vinnie), Vince Betro (Roy), and Terry Mulligan (Murray the Cop) go at it like gangbusters, adding to the fun.

This production of "The Odd Couple" is consistently entertaining, although the interplay between Oscar and Felix depends more on Oscar than Felix. With added bits from the director and actors, comedy triumphs. And in the confines of the lush Eagle Theatre, it makes for an enjoyable evening of theatre. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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