Neil Simon is arguably one of the greatest American playwrights in our time. If you have yet to see any of his plays performed live, then you need to march yourself over to The Candlelight Theatre in Arden and see The Odd Couple (female version).
I think it's safe to say that most people are familiar with The Odd Couple. A very particular, some might say obsessive compulsive, man separates from his wife, and moves in with his messy best friend. The female version of The Odd Couple is every bit as funny as the original, and honestly some of the jokes work better with the genders reversed. Gerri Weagraff and Tori Healy are absolutely hysterical as Florence Unger and Olive Madison. Gerri doesn't hold anything back with the craziness that is Florence. Tori Healy's Olive is exactly what you'd expect from a tom-boy sportswriter. She's Murphy Brown meets Oscar the Grouch.
The four friends of Florence and Olive, who in this version play Trivial Pursuit instead of poker, seem as though they've been friends for years. The scenes with all of the friends together seem like improv, not lines, which is how plays should feel. Tiffany Christopher's dry humor as Sylvie, Lindsey Mauck's momma bear-attitude as Mickey the cop, Erin Waldie's sarcastic Renee, and poor, dumb Vera, played by Kate Graham, are the quintessence of a group of friends—so different, and yet they make complete sense together.
The highlight of The Candlelight Theatre's production of The Odd Couple (female version) is the Costazuela brothers. Dan Healy and Anthony Connell as Manolo and Jesus are a scream. They are just the right amount of over the top. It's Neil Simon. Over the top without going overboard is just how it goes.
Normally, with The Candlelight Theatre, your tickets also include a buffet dinner. That is not the case with this production, so the ticket prices are a bit lower to reflect that. You will receive some snacks, and of course, the bar is open. The Odd Couple runs on weekends until June 22. For tickets, call 302-475-2313 or visit http://www.nctstage.org target=_blank>www.nctstage.org.
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