By Bob Fowler, Roane State staff writer
It’s an update of a classic comedy about a slob and a neat freak living together in disharmony, but this time the characters are female.
It’s Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple (Female Version),” and the curtain went up on the Roane State Community College Playmakers’ adaptation on Friday, November 10, for a two-week run in the O’Brien Theatre on the college’s main campus in Harriman.
“I’ve been wanting to do a Neil Simon play for a while,” said Jonathan Chemay, Roane State theatre technician, who’s directed three other recent Playmakers productions. “I think (Simon) was a comedic genius.”
Simon’s update of his contemporary classic, about slovenly Oscar Madison and obsessive Felix Unger, was rewritten by the playwright two decades after his original version premiered.
The original Odd Couple featured Felix and Oscar hosting a poker game with four guys as guests. In the female version, Florence and Olive have a get-together with four girlfriends for a night of “Trivial Pursuit.”
Oscar became Olive Madison, still a slob—while Felix was reimagined as Florence Unger, a character described by Chemay as “a stickler for detail.” The updated version of the comedy “looks at marriage and divorce from a woman’s perspective,” Chemay said. “Olive has a plan to help Florence get over her divorce, and fortunately for the audience it goes wrong in all the right ways.”
Roane State sophomore and music student Shelby Stout of Harriman, who performed in the Playmakers’ “Oliver!” last year, plays the divorcée Olive. “I leave a mess when I read a book,” she proclaims.
Her fastidious roommate Florence is portrayed by former Roane State student Courtney Briley of Kingston, who has been in several Playmaker productions.
Other performers include Amanda Cole as Mickey, Karmen Miller as Renee, Christy White as Sylvie, and Dakota Thompson as Vera, with Christopher Allen and David Steele as the Costazuela brothers.
“I’m excited about the cast,” Chemay said. “They have great comedic energy. Rehearsals so far have been very entertaining.”
The play will be performed on Friday and Saturday nights, November 10, 11, 17, and 18, and Sunday afternoon, November 12 and November 19. The evening performances begin at 7 p.m. while the Sunday matinees start at 2 p.m.
General admission is $10, while tickets for students and senior citizens are $5.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This story and photo were submitted by Owen Driskill.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2017 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.