Neil Simon’s "The Odd Couple" – both the original men’s version and Mr. Simon’s rewrite for women – will be performed in repertory on the Mildred M. Montague Circle Stage at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre Jan. 24-Feb. 16.
Review for The Odd Couple:
The hilarious plot centers on a pair of mismatched characters who are forced to cohabitate. One is careless and sloppy, the other a neurotic neat freak. Together they make arguably one of the most memorable pair of roommates ever written, in league with Lavern and Shirley or Bert and Ernie.
The play came to Broadway in 1965 and, 20 years later, Simon adapted the play to feature a pair of female roommates. Felix and Oscar became Florence and Olive. Beth Gumnick directs both the male and female versions of the story and, to make things even more challenging, Ms. Gumnick has cast some actors in roles in both productions.
In the women’s version, which opens the series Friday, Jan. 24, Carlene Conway plays the unkempt Olive and Katlyn Gabor is cast as the tidy Florence. In the men’s version, opening the following night, Zach DeSutter is Oscar and Sanford Knox, Jr., is Felix. Gabor, DeSutter, and Knox all do double duty – appearing in supporting roles in the opposite production.
Cast members and their roles are as follows:
The Women's Version / The Men's Version
Sylvie: Judy LaMance / Speed: John L. Hammons
Mickey: Dana Cole / Murray: Douglas May
Renee: Karen Henderson / Roy: Eric Bushey
Vera: Kathy Webb / Vinnie: Jonathan Smith
Olive: Carlene Conway / Oscar: Zach DeSutter
Florence: Katlyn Gabor / Felix: Sanford Knox, Jr.
Manolo Costazuela: Sanford Knox, Jr. / Gwendolynn Pigeon: Katlyn Gabor
Jesus Costazuela: Zach DeSutter / Cecily Pigeon: Loribeth Aldrich
The play came to Broadway in 1965, became a film in 1968, and was a successful ABC television series 1970-1975. One of the CTC’s "greatest hits" that is part of the community theatre’s 90th anniversary, "The Odd Couple" was performed at the CTC in 1987 and was done in repertory with male and female casts at that time as well.
There are 14 performances of "The Odd Couple" on the Mildred M. Montague Circle Stage on these dates and times:
Friday, Jan. 24, 8 p.m. Women’s Cast (Opening Night Gala begins at 7 p.m.)
Saturday, Jan. 25, 8 p.m. Men’s Cast
Thursday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m. Men’s Cast (Featuring real-time captioning)
Friday, Jan. 31, 8 p.m. Women’s Cast (Ghost Light Session after the performance)
Saturday, Feb. 1, 8 p.m. Men’s Cast
Sunday, Feb. 2, 2:30 p.m. Women’s Cast
Thursday, Feb. 6, 7 p.m. Women’s Cast
Friday, Feb. 7, 8 p.m. Men’s Cast
Saturday, Feb. 8, 8 p.m. Women’s Cast
Sunday, Feb. 9, 2:30 p.m. Men’s Cast
Thursday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m. Women’s Cast
Friday, Feb. 14, 8 p.m. Men’s Cast (Brewer Media Sponsors Girls’ Night Out)
Saturday, Feb. 15, 8 p.m. Women’s Cast
Sunday, Feb. 16, 2:30 p.m. Men’s Cast
Tickets are $30 opening night, $25 other public performances; $12.50 side section seating available for Thursday and Sunday performances. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling the box office 267-8534 or online at TheatreCentre.com. The Chattanooga Theatre Centre is at 400 River St. on Chattanooga’s NorthShore.