Our fourth show of the season is Neil Simon’s gender-swapped revision of his classic comedy The Odd Couple. Opening on Broadway in 1985, this version strikes an excellent balance of a familiar story and a fresh take.
The Odd Couple sees the lead characters transformed into Olive Madison and Florence Unger. Olive and their group of girlfriends are enjoying their weekly Trivial Pursuit night in Olive’s messy and ill-equipped apartment. As the game continues, Florence arrives, fresh from being dumped by her husband. Fearful that the neurotic Florence might attempt suicide, Olive invites her to move in as her roommate. However, Olive and Florence have VERY different personalities. Where Olive is messy, untidy, and unconcerned about the state of her apartment, Florence is obsessively clean, tidy, and obsessed with hygiene. Olive’s easy-going outlook on life soon clashes with Florence’s highly-strung neurotic tendencies, testing their friendship to the limit. When Olive organizes a double-date with the Costazuela brothers, their differences come to a head and sparks fly.
Fans of the original play will notice and appreciate the changes Neil Simon made for this version. Poker was traded for Trivial Pursuit, the Pigeon sisters became the Costazuela brothers, and the game night group of friends transform from Murray, Speed, Vinnie, and Roy to Mickey, Sylvie, Vera, and Renee.
The Female Odd Couple‘s Broadway cast starred Sally Struthers and Rita Moreno as the titular odd couple, Florence and Olive. Lewis J. Stadlen and Tony Shalhoub (in his Broadway debut) portrayed the Costazuela brothers.
The Odd Couple has been adapted into a film, several television sitcoms, and even a cartoon!
The Odd Couple is presented through special arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com
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