By Edna Snidebottom
There are comedies that are so well written that you never tire of them and Neil Simon’s ‘The Odd Couple,” is one of them. The beauty of live theater is each new director and cast creates a fresh version of this old classic. Director Lauren Jones has given us one of the best productions of this play that I have seen.
When you take your seat at Colonial Playhouse, and thanks to the very talented set designer Bruce Warren, you get your first glimpse of Oscar Madison’s apartment. With the help of the Jones family, the set dressing is complete with all the garbage Oscar has managed to accumulate. It even spills out into the audience (loved the tissues stuck on the top of a few of the seats!).
As the play opens, poker night is in full swing. Richard Mooney, Jim Copeland, Jon Brunke and Kevin Towell as Speed, Murray, Roy and Vinnie keep the laughs coming at a lightning pace. Under Jones’ direction, this group of talented actors convinces us they have been buddies for years.
Of course, to make this play work, you need a very talented duo in the roles of Oscar and Felix. Thom Harmon is wonderful as Oscar Madison. Yes, he’s sloppy and sometimes rude but we can see the heart underneath. Especially when Felix (excellently played by Drew Seltzer) moves into his apartment. These two work so well together, there is not a laugh line that is missed.
And last but certainly not least, are the lovely English Pigeon sisters, played to the hilt by sisters Virginia and Sandy Lawler. Their performances are a great example of making memorable what could be considered smaller roles in the hands of lesser actresses.
Costuming by Arpy Jones was spot on as was Ron Hill’s lighting design and LeAnne Mangano’s operation of light and sound. Jon Brunke’s sound design had audience members singing along on Saturday night. And I have to give a special nod to stage manager Robin Cashin who has the impossible job of cleaning up Oscar’s apartment every night.
After all the anger and division over the election this past year, you know you need to laugh and Colonial Playhouse’s production of “The Odd Couple” is just the tonic you need. Don’t miss it! It continues Jan. 22, 27, 28, 29 and Feb. 3 and 4.
The theater is at 522 Magnolia Ave. in Aldan. Call 610-622-5773 for more information or visit www.colonialplayhouse.net.