At the Theater: 'The Odd Couple'
HART's "The Odd Couple" by genius comedy writer Neil Simon is a laugh-out-loud romp.
If you're visiting from Venus and have never heard of rumpled Oscar Madison who charges his poker pals $3 each for the "buffet of brown sandwiches or green sandwiches...either very old cheese or very old meat," and his newly-divorced best friend Felix Unger with the air-freshener fetish, you're in for fun.
Director Judy Dybwad turned David Spivey loose and he charged over the top as loud slob Oscar. The audience loved it. Steven Turner's fastidious Felix Unger drew just as many laughs as he cooked and cleaned and clucked.
"You don't know anything," he spouted at Oscar while waving a kitchen utensil around his head. "You called this a spoon. This isn't a spoon. It's a ladle."
HART's Pigeon sisters, Holly Cope as Gwendolyn and Becky Seymour as Cecily, are as good as those in Broadway's 1997 revival of the mid '60s hit of a thousand performances. Cope and Seymour are worth the price of the ticket. The poker players are perfect.
HART's Roy, Vinnie and Speed seem straight out of the successful TV series spawned by the film version of the play. Cord Scott, a spectacular dancer and choreographer, is to be commended for his stretch in attempting the minor role of New York cop Murray. Though out of his element, Scott had fun with the part. He'll be choreographing HART's next stage musical.
Part-time Maggie Valley resident John Dapprich of Fort Lauderdale laughed throughout the production, as did the full house Saturday night.
"This is just delightful," Dapprich said at intermission. "I have friends in Asheville who say they live where there is 'real' theater. I tell them they should come to HART. They'll see real theater here."
Neil Simon's dialogue and HART's cast stir up a frothy concoction sure to lift spirits as only laughing out loud can do. Not a show coaxing stifled giggles, HART's "The Odd Couple" is one big belly laugh from beginning to end.
HART presents "The Odd Couple"
By Neil Simon
Directed by Judy Dybwad
At 7:30 p.m. Aug. 22, 23, 29, 30, Sept. 5 & 6 and at 3 p.m. Aug. 24, 31 and Sept. 7
Tickets; $22 for Adults, $18 for Seniors, Students $10
Special $6 discount tickets for Students Sundays
Box Office Hours Tuesday-Saturday 1-5pm
Call 828-456-6322 for reservations
Tickets available on line at www.harttheatre.com
Performing Arts Center at the Shelton House, 250 Pigeon St. Waynesville, NC 28786