By DONNA RYDER
One divorcé who is a complete slob and a soon-to-be-divorcé who is a neat freak make for an interesting pair.
Such is the case in The Masquerade Theatre’s production of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” which opens Friday at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Union City.
The play begins around the dinner table and a friendly game of cards in the apartment of Oscar Madison (Todd Little). The recently-divorced sportswriter likes his cigars and alcohol, as well as a good game of poker. He’s not much on housekeeping, though, which is evidenced by the clothes and paper strewn around the room and the complaints from his friends about a broken air conditioner and refrigerator.
His buddies — Speed (Aaron Scott), Murray (John Alex Warner), Vinnie (Michael Cochran, Levi Wright on opening night only) and Roy (Brian Johnson) — are all worried about the last of their poker group, Felix Ungar (Jared Hamlin).
Ungar, they have learned, has been kicked out of the house by his wife, who is seeking a divorce. The hypochondriac newswriter has not taken the news well and he is contemplating suicide.
Madison suggests his friend, who has nowhere to go, stay with him. At first, it works out well, with Ungar “keeping house.” Their poker buddies even like it when they are served drinks and sandwiches. But Ungar’s neat-freak tendencies soon get on Madison’s nerves and make him see why Mrs. Ungar kicked him out. Of course, Ungar can’t stand Madison’s messy ways, either.
The proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back comes when Madison befriends upstairs neighbors Cecily Pigeon (Maggie Olmstead), a divorcee, and Gwendolyn Pigeon (Karen Saldana), a widow, and invites them on a double date.
In order to spend less money, Ungar suggests he make dinner and the British sisters come over to their apartment. Madison is late and doesn’t seem to understand the importance of being on time, as stressed by Ungar. When the girls arrive, it’s too late for Ungar’s meal, which can’t be saved.
By this time, the audience will also wonder if this friendship can be saved.
“The Odd Couple” is directed by Jonathan Johnson, with assistance from Kristen Smith, and produced by Jeannine Cranford. Jennie Overall is serving as costumer, with assistance from Sheila Little. Bob Elderkin is in charge of set design and lighting. Back stage crew members are Brent Cooley and Joey Cochran.
Performances will be Friday, Saturday, June 7 and June 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday and June 9 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 and are available in advance from Lanzer Printing and Office Supply in downtown Union City and at the box office prior to each show.
For more information, visit www.ucmasqueradetheatre.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.29.13