Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Female Odd Couple"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2004 by Tony Annicone

"The Female Odd Couple"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current show at the Newport Playhouse is "The Female Odd Couple". Madison, the slob, and Unger, the cleaning fanatic, are at it again. Olive Madison and Florence Unger, that is, in Neil Simon's 1985 update of his play. Instead of poker, the girls meet every Friday night to play trivial pursuit and the very British Pigeon sisters have been replaced in this version with by the hilarious Constanzuela brothers. The patterns of Olive and Florence's disastrous marriages begin to reappear in their new arrangement and so this too must end. But not before these 8 performers take you on a comic romp which will leave you in stiches from their crazy antics.

This show boasts two strong actresses in the leading roles. Playing the hilarious, sloppy Olive is Sandra Nicastro, a natural born comedienne. She delivers Neil Simon's one liners perfectly, eliciting many laughs from the audience. One of the funniest bits is when Olive who wants to go out with some guys, takes Florence's hand and puts it on her breast exclaiming, "I need a bigger hand there with hair on the knuckles." Sandy Cerel is excellent as the uptight, neatnik Florence. Her hangdog expressions and sighs make the girls worry that Flo might try to commit suicide. Sandra and Sandy's argument scenes crackle with intensity and their reactions to the Spanish brothers are humorous.

The two biggest scene stealers in this show are Nishan Lawton and Jason Heywood as Manolo and Jesus, the Spanish brothers. Their entrance brings down the house with a multitude of laughter. They act the wild and crazy guys skit from Saturday Night Live. The characters mangle the English language and their outfits are as outlandish as they are. They try to woo the two girls but eventually end up feeling sorry for Flo and decide to take her in, defending her against the insults of Olive. Nishan and Jason are hilarious in this show, receiving the gales of laughter they deserve. The four girls playing Trivial Pursuit are all different from one another so you can tell them apart with ease. Angie Margiotta plays the tough cop, Mickey, Henryce Zannini plays the hypochondriac who loves dating doctors, Daisy Gilmore is a hoot as the ditsy, Vera who dresses in dowdy clothes and goes on vacations in Florida in July because the rates are cheaper and Collette Schwoeri as the hot, sexy blond, Sylvie who loves to talk about sex and gossip with the girls during their weekly game. This show was directed Rob Reimer. His stage manager Mike Johnson keeps things running smoothly from the lighting booth and directs the Christmas cabaret while producer Matt Siravo oversees the sumptious buffet before the show and supplies the jokes for the cabaret after it. Sue Raposa cooks the buffet food including turkey in gravy, pot roast and meatballs. So for a fun filled evening be sure to catch Newport Playhouse's, "The Female Odd Couple".

"The Female Odd Couple" (19 November - 19 March)
NEWPORT PLAYHOUSE
102 Connell Highway, NEWPORT, R I
1 (401)848-PLAY(7529)

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |