Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Drama Workshop Production of The Odd Couple by Neil Simon

I have been hearing about Felix and Oscar for years and years and years but the first time I actually saw them was February 26, 2017 when Tom and I went to Cheviot to see the play directed and produced by our son, Ray Persing.  Assistant Producer was his wife, Gretchen Gantner.

The play was a great introduction to the classic characters. Oscar Madison, the slovenly, easygoing Sportswriter was played by Chris Bishop.  Felix Unger, the neat freak, uptight and hypochondriac news-writer, was played by Eric Thomas.

Developing the characters of the four cardplaying friends of Oscar and Felix was essential to keeping the audience's interest in the first act. All of them are wondering where Felix is, why he hasn't shown up at the card game.  It turns out that Felix has a major problem which his friends learn when Oscar calls  Felix's wife.  When Felix finally appears each friend has ideas for solving the problem.


Above: Surrounding Felix Unger (Eric Thomas) who is seated on the chair and wearing a a suit are his cardplaying friends.  Left to right they are Roy ( Adam Drake), Murray (Mark Waldfogle), Speed (BJ Simpson), and Vinnie (Scott Unes).  Each friend has decided opinions and ideas.  (Photo by Elaine Volker)

After the friends leave, Oscar is left with Felix who is still devastated. 

Photo by Elaine Vocker
Photo by Elaine Volker
Finally, out of options, Oscar tells Felix he can move in.  This turns out to be a difficult situation for both of them.  The rest of the play is about solving this situation.

Two English women are involved in the solution.  I don't have a picture of them but Tom noted immediately after the play, that they had remarkable abilities to titter girlishly and convincingly for extended periods of time.  The Pigeon sisters were played by Kristen Vincenty (Gwendolyn) and Meagan L. Blasch (Cecily).

After the play run, Ray posted on Facebook.  He thanked everyone involved and announced that The Odd Couple was the fourth most attended show in The Drama Workshop history.

Below are listed addtional members of the Creative Team... Stage Manager, Scenic Designer, Set Decor, Master Carpenter, Construction and Painting Crew, Costume Design, Light Design, Light Execution, Lighting Crew, Sound Design, Sound Execution, Properties, Dialect Coach-NewYork, Dialect Coach-British, Running Crew, Hair and Makeup, Program, Original Show Art, Lobby Display, Lobby Photography, Box Office, Usher Coordinator, House/Hospitality, Publicity, and Poster Distribution.  Click on the photo to see an enlarged version so you can read all the names.

I listed the Team Titles to give you an idea of the multitude of expertises needed to produce a play.  Anyone with any kind of skill can find something to do in Community Theater.  It certainly helps to work well with others and have a cheerful attitude when things are hectic.



1 comment:

Far Side of Fifty said...

I have a friend who is very involved, last year she was the stage manager and was busy most of the summer. Such dedicated people, and it takes a real team to make a great production! Hi to Tom! :)