Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Odd Couple"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2005 by Don Gillis

"The Odd Couple"

Reviewed by Don Gillis

Put six excellent male actors together and 2 female supporting actors and you have a blockbuster of a show at Academy Players. Tony Annicone, well known as a reviewer on this site, has put on his other hat as director in this 40th Anniversary of the Broadway opening of "The Odd Couple".

The cast consisting of James Pollitt as Speed, Rick Braun as Murray, Bill Castro as Roy, and Charles Arouth as Vinnie, who play cards with Oscar Madison played by Dennis L. Bouchard start the show with Simon's one liners. Enter Felix Ungar played by David Crossley, who's marriage has just ended, goes to his buddy who is also separated from his wife. That seems to be the only thing these two have in common, as the play progresses we find them sharing an apartment. Picture this: Oscar is a slob and his apartment is living example of his habits...while Felix is Mr. Clean, and a hypochondriac.

The two leads, Bouchard and Crossley will have you in stitches all evening in this fast paced comedy. They are superb and flawless in their timing and chemistry. The four card playing buddies scenes are hilarious - all four of them have little bits and actions that will have you in stitches. Tony Annicone has to be commended for his insight and years of directorial experience because this is the best Odd Couple production that I have seen. The entire cast has been well chosen, and the pacing and chemistry between the men are outstanding .

The two women, the Pigeon sisters come into the picture as "dates" for the bored Oscar and Felix. These gals, Jackie Granja, and Marcia Murphy have one scene that will have you holding your gut from laughing so hard. The scene is when Felix is telling them about his wife and children, and breaks down and cries. He shows pictures of his kids, his wife, and even his living room. It gets hysterical when the women start to feel his pain as they have had the same experiences. Its a hoot of a scene. I loved their costumes !!

But that's just the icy on a perfect cake in this production. The card sharks, Pollitt, Braun, Castro, and Arouth are so amusing with facial expressions, and of course Simon's one liners that you will be entertained by them all evening. Tony has a special treat for the audience when the scenes change. He has the four guys come on and change the set . The background is music of the 60"s and you have to see this to appreciate the humor. Very clever and amusing!!

The set and techies deserves mention here... Stage Manager, Joann Maccarone, Tech Director, Dennis Pouliot, Sound Engineer, David LaRocque, Set Crew Director, George Reed and his crew, Carl Glass, Pete Mali, Bill Zech, Jeff Woolley and Props Manager, Barbara Greene, with publicity by Jackie Granja.

What a wonderful evening of entertainment!. Do yourself a favor and call now for a ticket down memory lane , with these pros. What a great show!! There are six more performances - don't miss out!! The audience loved it as evidenced by thunderous applause at the conclusion of the show. Go see for yourself - its a gut buster!!!

"The Odd Couple ( 19 - 27 February)
The Odeum Theatre, 59 Main Street, East Greenwich, RI
All shows are at 8pm and Sunday shows at 2pm.
(401) 885-6910

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide