ESO LIVE at Cape Charles Coffee House Tonight

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SATURDAY 4/12: ESO Live at Cape Charles Coffee House

Next Saturday, April 12, set against the beautiful, historic backdrop of the Cape Charles Coffee House, the eclectic, acoustic roots of Gregg Kimball and Mary Smith will delve into the vast trove of traditions that shaped American music. As part of ESO Arts Center’s ESO LIVE! On the Road Series, this in-demand duo from Richmond will both perform and share the intriguing stories behind the tunes. Their show is a surprising mix of Appalachian ballads, Blues, Celtic, Old Time/Country, Cajun and other styles. [Read more...]

REVIEW: Odd Couple Brought Us Together for a Night

Seated Left to Right:
Mellisa Stein as Olive Madison
Fran Loper as Renee’
Susan Kovacs as Sylvie
Joanne Dean as Mickey
Sherri DeMarino as Vera
Christy Iversen as Florence Unger
Travis Handy, Stage Manager & Stage Hand
Standing Left to Right:
Kevin Schwenk, Hair & Make up
Victor Abrahamian as Manolo Constazuela
Clelia Sheppard, Director, Set Design & Decor
J.P. Pare as Jesus Constazuela
Rachel Attenberg, Stage Hand
Not pictured:
Chris & Walt Rool, Photograhy
Richard Spano, Lighting Tech
Rob Colls-CCC Renovations, Set Construction

By WAYNE CREED

March 29, 2014

The play The Odd Couple premiered on Broadway at the Plymouth Theatre on March 10, 1965, and later moved to the Eugene O’Neill Theatre where it closed on July 2, 1967 after 964 performances and two previews. Directed by Mike Nichols, the original cast starred Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison and Art Carney as Felix Ungar. The Nichols show produced Tony Awards for Walter Matthau as Best Actor, as well as Best Author for Simon, Best Direction of a Play for Nichols, and Best Scenic Design for Oliver Smith. In 1968, the film version, starring Matthau and Jack Lemon, cemented the iconic characters of Oscar Madison and Felix Unger. In 1970, the television show starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall forever wove Oscar and Felix into the American consciousness.

The beauty of theater is that it is never static, whether it is recreating the Oresteia Trilogy, or Hamlet, or The Sound of Music. There’s always something new, a different angle, a new way to be fresh. That is just what we saw this last weekend with the Palace Theatre’s brilliant production of The Odd Couple: Female Version. Great productions always start at the top, and Clelia Shepherd’s vision, wit, and charm created the perfect pallet. The production had a firm, even pace, allowing each actor the room to breathe and find their space within this rather daunting script.

This version of the Odd Couple differed from many I have scene, due to its visual brilliance — the actors literally popped on the stage, and the credit for this goes to one of the most talented and underrated artists on the Shore — the Palace Theatre costume mistress, Vera Miller. After every show, I always tell myself, there’s no way she’ll ever be able to top that, but somehow she always does, whether it is pitch-perfect historical such as Oliver or Piece of Eden, or the flat-out brilliance and style of Seussical the Musical. Here, once again, her eye was spot on. Working with Ms. Miller, Kevin Schwenk’s great work with hair and make-up truly lent an air of authenticity to the show.

The beauty of the Odd Couple is that it plays to America’s greatest theatrical strength — the ensemble comedic cast, and that strength was exploited to the fullest by Ms. Shepherd. The heart of the Odd Couple is the friendship and camaraderie that exists among the characters, especially when they meet for the weekly card games. In the female version, poker is exchanged for Trivial Pursuit, a savvy twist by the author, opening the door for numerous one-liners and zingers. [Read more...]

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SATURDAY 4/5: Vivaldi Tribute at Palace Theatre

Saturday, April 5,  at 7:00 p.m., the Historic Palace Theatre on Mason Avenue presents a Tribute to Vivaldi. The evening will be filled with beautiful music along with imagery on the big screen. Violinist Dora Mullins and pianist Stefan Dulcie will perform Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” Adults $15, Students $5. [Read more...]

FRIDAY 4/4: Peg Snowden Volk Retrospective at ESO Live Includes Scott & Melinda, Bob Sellers & More

Friday, April 4, share an intimate musical journey at ESO Arts Center  in Belle Haven with one of the Shore’s most beloved singer-songwriters, joined by a stage-full of musician friends. Peg Snowden plays guitar and performs a retrospective of original songs written over four decades. [Read more...]

An Even Odder ‘Odd Couple’ Opens 3/21 at the Palace

JP Pare, Victor Abrahamian

Christie Iversen, JP Pare, Mellissa Stein, Victor Abrahamian

March 17, 2014

Unger and Madison are at it again! Florence Unger and Olive Madison, that is, in Neil Simon’s hilarious contemporary comic classic: the female version of “The Odd Couple” coming to the Historic Palace Theatre. Performances are Friday, March 21, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 22 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 adults and $5 students and are available at the box office immediately before performances.

Olive, like her original male counterpart, is divorced and living in cheerful chaos in her New York apartment. At Olive’s invitation, the suicidal Florence, newly separated from her husband, moves in and is soon finding comfort in cooking, cleaning and fussing until Olive is almost reduced to a nervous wreck. It becomes clear that the patterns of their disastrous marriages are already re-occurring.

Instead of the poker party that begins the original version, Ms. Madison has invited the girls over for an evening of Trivial Pursuit. The Pidgeon sisters have been replaced by the two Constanzuela brothers. But the hilarity remains the same. Taking the stage at the Palace Theatre for these performances are Fran Loper, Mellisa Stein, Joanne Dean, JP Pare, Christie Iversen, Victor Abrahamian, Susan Kovacs, and Sherri DeMarino.

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FRIDAY/SATURDAY: ‘Love Story in Song’ at ESO Arts Center

The innovative Edge Theater at ESO is sharing the love with its production “Love Story in Song” on Friday, February 28, and Saturday, March 1, at 8 p.m. at ESO Arts Center in Belle Haven. [Read more...]

SATURDAY: ‘Some Like It Hot’ Film, Champagne Lunch at Palace Theatre

Arts Enter Cape Charles presents a special screening of “Some Like It Hot” with champagne lunch at the Historic Palace Theatre 11 a.m. Saturday, March 1. Tickets are $30 per person and RSVP is requested. Reserve your seat by contacting Arts Enter at 757-331-2787. [Read more...]

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