The Odd Couple Review – Polar Opposites Continue to Provide Big Laughs

 

Who doesn’t love Neil Simon? He is a national treasure of a playwright, having written such insightful comedic gems as Barefoot in the Park, The Sunshine Boys, Prisoner of Second Avenue, Plaza Suite, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues and Lost in Yonkers. Not only have his works been mounted in theatres across the country , but many have become cherished films permanently emblazed into the hearts and minds of countless lifetime fans.

 

The charming Delray Beach Playhouse celebrates its 70th anniversary. Courtesy Delray Beach Playhouse.

No wonder, watching The Odd Couple at the Delray Beach Playhouse, many in the audience not only laughed along with the play but poked others knowingly and nodded in appreciation of the gentle humor they have come to love. Like this writer, they may have memories of the film and/or television show and enjoy again spending time with Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison. While I did not have the pleasure of seeing the original Broadway production in 1965, I met a number of audience members who had and have been devoted fans ever since.

 

Poker buddies Steven Feldman, Steven Fireman, Omar Robau, Mark Hetelson, Jim McConville in The Odd Couple. Courtesy Delray Beach Playhouse.

For any readers who are not familiar with this ageless play, Felix, a highly neurotic and fastidious news writer, is cast out by his wife and comes to live with his friend, Oscar, a messy, disheveled and impulsive sportswriter. Felix is quite the snooty, compulsive hypochondriac while Oscar is the lovable but careless slob who gambles too much and doesn’t mind spoiled food and the smell of stale cigars filling his apartment. Needless to say, this situation provides the perfect set-up for ongoing comedic moments.

 

Michael Coppolla as Felix and Mark Hetelson as Oscar in The Odd Couple. Courtesy Delray Beach Playhouse.

Michael Coppola inhabits the role of Felix with just the right combination of sensitivity and neurosis and portrays the pathos as well as the comedic notes in this character. According to the Playbill, he has appeared in over one hundred professional and community productions and this was his debut at the Playhouse. This reviewer looks forward to more performances from this highly talented actor in the future.

Mark Hetelson wonderfully portrays Oscar and it is a joy to watch him deliver Simon’s brilliant lines and interact with Felix and the rest of the cast. Having seen Hetelson as Hercule Poirot in Black Coffee at the Playhouse, it was a pleasure to see him again in this production.

 

Sign points the way to the lovely Delray Beach Playhouse on Lake Ida.Courtesy H.Sorcic.

Rounding out the cast are Felix and Oscar’s poker buddies, Roy (Steve Feldman); Vinnie (Steven Fireman); Speed (Jim McConville) and Murray (Omar Robau) as well as the loveable Pidgeon sisters, Gwendolyn (Kari Budyk) and Cecily (Forman Lauren).

 

Don’t miss the laughs at the Delray Beach Playhouse. While you’re there, be sure to scope out all the offerings at this wonderful community theatre, including Broadway plays, a Musical Memories series and many fabulous classes, lectures and events.

 

Don't Miss The Odd Couple at the Delray Beach Playhouse. Courtesy Delray Beach Playhouse.

The Odd Couple runs at the Delray Beach Playhouse through February 19, 2017. Tickets are $30 ($15 for students 18 and younger) and can be purchased by calling 561-271-1281 Ext.4. The Playhouse is located at: 950 NW 9th Street, Delray Beach, Florida 33444. 

Delray Beach Playhouse website

 

 

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