[Preview] 'The Odd Couple' Comes to Theatre of Dare
Opening for six days starting on March 2nd, Theatre of Dare presents “The Odd Couple” , directed by Janelle Parrish.
Neil Simon’s classic comedy features two friends – recently separated clean freak “Felix Unger” and divorced slob “Oscar Madison” – as they decide to room together with often hilarious results.
The story of Felix and Oscar has been told countless times throughout American popular culture ever since Simon’s play made its debut on Broadway in 1965. In its original run, Felix was played by Art Carney and Oscar by Walter Matthau.
It was later made into a successful film and eventually the popular television series with which it may be most indentified; but there have also been many other derivative works and various spin offs over the decades, many featuring one or more of the same actors, as the term “odd couple” itself has come be part of the American language.
The 1968 feature film version starred Jack Lemmon as Felix and Walter Matthau again as Oscar. You can watch the original trailer in the player below!
The pair reunited 30 years later and reprised their roles for a sequel call “The Odd Couple II,” released in 1998, which was produced by Neil Simon.
The success of the original film lead to 114 episodes of the ABC television sitcom, starring Tony Randall as Felix and Jack Klugman as Oscar, which ran from 1970 to 1975.
Randall and Klugman also reunited in 1993 for a made-for-TV reunion film that was based on the original series.
As soon as the show went off the air, in the fall of 1975 ABC aired a cartoon version of Simon’s play entitled The Oddball Couple, in which the roles of Felix and Oscar were played by a dog and cat. You can check out the original show opening below!
ABC tried one more time to resurrect Felix and Oscar in 1982 when they aired yet another version of the series, this time called The New Odd Couple, though it was soon cancelled after just 13 episodes. In this incarnation, Oscar and Felix were portrayed for the first time by African-American actors.
You can watch a vintage clip of the short-lived show below!
In 1985, Neil Simon himself revised The Odd Couple for a female cast. Retitled “The Female Odd Couple,” it was based on the same story line and same lead characters, but they were now called Florence Unger and Olive Madison, and the boys-only poker game in the original became Trivial Pursuit with Florence and Olive’s girlfriends. It originally starred Sally Struthers and Rita Moreno on Broadway.
Most recently, the band Gnarls Barkley named their 2008 album The Odd Couple, and there’s even a piano trio (yes, you read that right) from Ireland that also calls themselves The Odd Couple.
Performances of Theatre of Dare’s “The Odd Couple” are set for Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:00pm, at the COA Roanoke Island Campus in Manteo this weekend, March 2-4, and next weekend, March 9-11.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and are available in advance at Gray’s Department Store in Kitty Hawk.