Even as good as what is taking place ON Stage may be, there are those rare theater experiences where thirty percent of your enjoyment is listening to and watching the faces of the people around you in a full house audience.
Such was the case at Pasadena Little Theater’s smash hit comedy “The Odd Couple” by Neil Simon. It was literally laugh on top of a laugh as this superb cast moved from one hilarious comment and incident to the next. This was an audience of predominantly seasoned citizens, so how many times in their lifetimes have they seen this classic?
In the movie, on stage, and on television? The continuous laughter in all three acts was a testimony to the material’s freshness when performed by actors who seemed BORN to play these parts. The laughter heard here was not subdued chuckles, but loud uproarious, infectious guffaws! (Especially the men!)
This is a WINNER and You’ll Regret Not Seeing it
Led by the lead characters of “poles apart” opposites, roughhewn Oscar Madison (Jeff Luchsinger), and almost nasty nice Felix (Steve Quimby), this peerless cast directed by Carolyn McLeod, each held his and her own. Poker buddy regulars like bombastic Speed (Mike Cedro), policeman Murray (Bruce Blifford), quiet accountant Roy (Darwin Barnes), and young guy Vinnie (Jevin Luchsinger) didn’t give an inch as support players.
The premise is built around divorce…pure and simple…(although never pure or simple)…Sportswriter Oscar’s, which occurred awhile back, leaving him with an 8 room apartment and Felix’s, which is current. Frances has thrown Felix out (he was driving her crazy), so he is “on the street,” and Oscar asks him to move into his very large, but hardly fit for human habitation, apartment because the poker buddies all think Felix is about to commit suicide.
What ensues is Felix’s complete renovation of Oscar’s comfortably sloppy surroundings. That’s not all…Felix has a plethora of ailments, which include his unorthodox methods of relieving stopped up ears, bursitis, stomach aches, and a medical journal of other maladies! Of course, he is in love with the vacuum cleaner, the air purifier, and cooking meals, which MUST be served at the precise millisecond!
Oscar, who is in dire need of female companionship, threatens Felix into becoming part of a foursome with two English sisters, Gwen and Cicely, who live in the building. These two charming actresses, Janet Elayne and Kathy Edge, bring their own brand of side-splitting comedy into the mix, as whatever could go wrong DOES. The ladies are surprisingly drawn to Felix’s fragility as he continues to burst into tears over the breakup of his marriage. The facial contortions of Steve Quimby as Felix are hysterical as they go from weeping to his ‘human sacrifice’ look.
This is a WINNER, and you’ll regret not seeing it, so call Seven One Three, Nine Four One, One Seven Five Eight soon for remaining seats, before the last performance on Sunday, March 29 at 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m. The location is 4318 Allen Genoa Road.
Written by: Gloria W. Smith