Odd Couple logo 520 by 920

By Neil Simon

January 18 – February 9, 2014

Directed by Michael Rothhaar
Produced by William Wilday
Unger and Madison are at it again! Florence Unger and Olive Madison, that is, in Neil Simon’s hilarious contemporary comic classic: the female version of The Odd Couple. Instead of the poker party that begins the original version, Ms. Madison has invited the girls over for an evening of Trivial Pursuit. The Pidgeon sisters have been replaced by the two Costazuela brothers. But the hilarity remains the same.
Charlotte Edmondson
Ariella Fiore
Sarah D. Gibson
Mara Roshal
Randi Tahara
Dalia Vosylius
Scott Gerard
Jason Avalos

     Neil Simon’s modern classic THE ODD COUPLE, a tale of two divorcees attempting to get their lives together (and taking a gender twist), performs at Santa Monica’s Morgan-Wixson Theatre.
     This time around, it’s the womenfolk who make up the leads. Dalia Vosylius is Olive Madison, a news writer and sports nut that hosts her gal pals for their weekly get together paying Trivial Pursuit at her upper west side apartment. Although she’s been separated from her spouse for some time, her group of gals that have known each other since their  high school days, have at it in their weekly board game. The gang consists of Mickey (Sarah D. Gibson) one of New York’s finest (a cop); Vera (Mara Roshal), and Renee (Randi Tahara). They soon find out that one of their fellow game players, Florence Unger (Charlotte Edmondson) has broken up with her spouse after fourteen years of marriage. Now not having a place to live, Olive has Flo to move in with her in order to get Flo’s life back together. Olive even arranges to invite two single men of Spanish decent, Jesus Contuzuela (Jason Avalon) and Manolo Costazuela (Scott Gerard) for dinner and possible romance. Of course, Flo and Olive have their own little tiffs. (Flo is a slob while Olive is too tidy around the house, and can even cook!) These two opposites don’t attract, but adds to a series of comedy of many errors!!
     This female version of one of Neil Simon’s signature plays has more laughs that his original piece that he created twenty years before this rewording. Although the playwright’s female version was first presented c.1985, it’s one of the few Neil Simon non period piece plays that’s the least dated! (Many of his works, although still comical for what they are, hasn’t necessarily kept up with the times!) In this Morgan-Wixson presentation, Charlotte Edmondson as Flo and Dalia Vosylius as Olive team up very well, portraying their roles that fit their characters to a perfect “T”. The pair of leads bounce back the witty one liners to each others while the rest of the cast keeps up to the rapid pace! Michael Rothhaar directs this production with high strung comical timing and ever sprit grace; Not a grace that is artful in the traditional method, but a grace that is diverting and too humorous to boot!
     A special note that’s outside of the performing as seen on stage is William Wilday’s set and lighting design, that shows off a rather spacious apartment unit that one may (or may not) find along Manhattan’s Riverside Drive thoroughfare.
     It isn’t often that the female version of this play is presented on a local or regional stage. But the Morgan-Wixson Theatre’s intimate setting makes this rendering of THE ODD COUPLE worth another looksee. Coping with divorce had never been taken so light hearted, if not as a regular comical riot!
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