Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Odd Couple"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2002 by Tony Annicone

"The Odd Couple"

Tony Annicone

Theatre Company's latest show is Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple". The well known story about sloppy Oscar Madison taking in cleaning fanatic Felix Unger after his wife, Frances throws him out, is directed and produced by Donna Adamonis. She makes this comic tale come to life with her talented cast and very capable stage manager, Mary Pesare. Throw in the three poker playing buddies and the two British Pigeon sisters and you have a comedy well worth seeing.

The card playing cronies are very funny and distinct from each other. Keith Goward plays Roy, Oscar's alimony worrying accountant, doing a good job in his second time onstage. Ralph Carlini plays Vinnie, the cigar chomper who is in a hurry to get to his various vacations and loves Felix's BLT sandwiches. Making his stage debut in the role of Murray, the cop is Phil Lavoie. (This man is a natural in this role and one wonders why he never tried acting in the past.) Phil's hilarious delivery of his lines and many facial expressions are handled like a pro. Good job by all three actors.

Diane Tefft and Jillian Rotondo play Gwendolyn and Cecily with wonderful British accents and almost steal their scenes with the other actors. The crying scene with Felix, the flirting scene with Oscar and the final scene where they stand up to Oscar in Felix's defense are handled beautifully. Last but not least are the two actors who play Oscar and Felix. Ron Pelletier plays the sloppy, bossy loudmouth, Oscar who realizes Felix has helped him change by the end of the show. He plays this character wonderfully, fleshing him out to show the transitions during the two act play. Anthony Pesare who plays the more difficult role of Felix excellently, makes him into a three dimensional person. From the hangdog expressions, to his clearing his nose, to his stiff neck, to his sore throat and hurt arm, Anthony is very, very funny. His crying scenes when he tells Oscar and later the sisters about his breakup are hysterical. The chemistry between Anthony and Ron is perfect with each other and the whole cast.

So for a fun filled evening of frivolity, be sure to catch this show at Theatre Company. You are also served a dessert buffet at intermission with many luscious items to eat including eclairs and homemade brownies. An added word of praise to set designer and builder, Jim Belanger and to Vera Parrillo, the brownie maker, whose creations are marvelous to behold.

"The Odd Couple" (till 29 June)
THEATRE COMPANY
One Harris Street, COVENTRY, RHODE ISLAND
1(401) 827-0091

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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