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


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…]


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…]

WEDNESDAY 4/2: Creekwatcher Meeting with Del. Bloxom

Creekwatcher Meeting is organized by Shorekeeper Jay Ford and is open to everyone who cares about the waters of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The meeting will be 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, at the Nature Conservancy’s Brownsville House. CLICK for directions and details. [Read more…]

THURSDAY 4/3: Cape Charles Business Association Meets at Aqua

The Cape Charles Business Association general meeting is 7 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at Aqua Restaurant (upstairs). This is a general meeting for all current and potential members. [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…]

FRIDAY 4/4: Terry Malarkey Recalls His London Suburb

“The Home Front—A London Suburb During and After WWII” is a presentation of the Science and Philosophy Seminar of the Eastern Shore of Virginia to be held at 12:30 p.m. Friday, April 4, in the Eastern Shore Community College Lecture Hall, 29300 Lankford Hwy., Melfa. [Read more…]

SATURDAY 4/5: Make Your Own Rain Barrel Workshop

The Eastern Shore Soil & Water Conservation District in partnership with the Eastern Shore Watersheds Network are holding a Rain Barrel Workshop on Saturday, April 5, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Northampton Courthouse Grounds in Eastville. [Read more…]

SATURDAY 4/5: Celebrate Arbor Day with Free Tree Seedlings

On Saturday, April 5, come and celebrate ARBOR DAY and get some FREE tree seedlings at Northampton County Courthouse Grounds in Eastville from 10:30 a.m to 3 p.m. [Read more…]

1 Comment