The Odd Couple: A Look Ahead

The cast of Fall Term’s Theatre 520 is ready to blow away your expectations with their upcoming performances of “The Odd Couple.” Theatre lovers of Phillips Academy—the moment that you have waited for has finally come. Written by the hit playwright Neil Simon, The Odd Couple is a humorous story about two mismatched roommates: Oscar Madison (played by Alex Gottfried ’09) and Felix Ungar (Thor Shannon ’09). It is one of the most successful and best-loved Broadway plays in the history of theatre, and it will absolutely seize your attention. Oscar is a sloppy, slovenly sportswriter who has recently gone through a divorce. Most of his time is spent on the poker table with his friends Murray, Roy, Speed and Vinnie (played by Khalil Flemming ’12, Andrew Schlager ’12, Mide Babatunde ’09 and Patrick Brady ’11, respectively). One day Oscar’s old friend Felix Ungar, an extremely fastidious news-writer and hypochondriac, comes to his apartment with the news that he is in the midst of a divorce with his wife of twelve years. Watching Felix become depressed and extremely self-aversive, Oscar offers to let him move into his apartment. At first, everything seems fine—Felix has a place to stay and Oscar is happy that he was able to help his friend. However, the pair soon discovers that they have terribly clashing personalities: Felix cannot live without cleaning a mess, and Oscar cannot live without making one. Moreover, Felix is an obsessed father, who misses his children awfully, although he still sees them every single day. One example of their dysfunctional relationship is when Oscar attempts to buoy Felix’s spirits by introducing him to their English neighbors, sisters Cecily and Gwendolyn Pigeon (Mollie Lee ’10 and Calista Small ’10). However, even while greeting the two wonderful, single women, all that Felix is concerned about is the London Broil sitting in the oven. The incompatibility of Oscar and Felix finally reaches its apex, and the serious conflict between them must be settled. Oscar and Felix’s exchanges throughout the play are absurd and jocular due to their completely polar personalities. The audience will see the two throwing a childish fight over who can litter or clean the room faster, and watch their debate about the difference between spaghetti and linguini. “The Odd Couple doesn’t have a heavy or serious message,” said director Kevin Heelan. “I just want everyone to come and watch this funny show and have a good time.” Unlike the shorter, varied Drama Labs that are performed once every week on Friday nights, The Odd Couple will be held in Steinbach Theatre on this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This fall’s main theatrical production is spot-on and well-prepared. The lights, stage props, furniture and the unusual set-up of Steinbach Theatre will make the viewer feel as if they are included in the scenes. Props such as a head of lettuce and broken window curtains set the stage for a true bachelor pad.