note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Beverly Creasey
THE ODD COUPLE is deliciously silly fare, pitting an obsessive compulsive neat freak against an inveterate slob in hopes of fireworks. With the mileage Neil Simon has reaped from the wildly popular comedy, he still may be circumnavigating the globe. The Fiddlehead Theatre production (through March 28th) has a delightful cast of characters and lots of sparks from Chris Conte’s exasperated Oscar and Brad Blake’s frenetic Felix.
Director Stacey Stephens even gets laughs from the set changes, performed assiduously by Felix, of course. Blake gets a rousing round of applause for his tidy up during intermission, straightening a painting which evidently bothered a good number of audience members all through Act I!
The supporting cast of chain smoking poker players makes the show sizzle--- but the icing on the cake is supplied by Liza Hammond and Aly Trasher as the dotty Pigeon sisters, cleverly borrowed by Simon from Oscar Wilde.
I got a bonus at the show I attended. The fastidious gentleman in the seat next to me dug in his pocket for a zip-lock bag during Act I, in which was a pocket pack of tissues. He then puffed numerous breaths onto each lens of his glasses and polished them ever so slowly, holding them out in front of him (and me) to make sure they were pristine. The ritual of the zip-lock bag was repeated in Act II to retrieve the tissues, this time to blow his nose. The “moose call” to unplug his sinuses sounded exactly like Felix’s----and I began to wonder if the Fiddlehead folks had planted him in my row for an extra laugh or two. I must say it was a hoot!