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‘Odd Couple’ all about opposites

Posted: July 2, 2014 - 3:13pm

Theatre-goers soon will be introduced to a comedic motley crew of characters in the upcoming Pier One Theatre production of “The Odd Couple.” Directed by Lance Petersen, audience members can expect an entertaining dynamic between characters, beginning with the first performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Based on a comedy by Neil Simon, “The Odd Couple” focuses on a weekly poker gathering of good friends. The men also are World War II veterans who meet every Friday evening at the messy and neglected apartment of Oscar Madison, played by Peter Norton. Even though Madison is the host of the get-togethers, he fails to find any motivation following the recent divorce with his wife to tidy his living quarters or wash the dishes. 

An issue arises during the first poker match when the group of men notice their friend Felix Unger, played by Brian Duffy, is missing. The situation turns worrisome when his wife predicts he might be considering suicide after she recently told him she wanted a divorce.

A distraught Unger later turns up at Madison’s apartment and is convinced by Madison to move in. Madison tells Unger, who has the credible reputation of being a “neatnik,” that their polar opposite standards of cleanliness would be a complementary match — obsessively clean and hopelessly sloppy.

The two immediately plunge into a conflict with laughable dynamics.

Petersen directed the female version of the play, also by Neil Simon, five years ago.

“I thought it would be a good adventure to gather up Pier One Theatre’s strong cadre of male actors to do the classic version,” said Petersen.

Former Homer mayor Jim Hornaday, playing an impatient poker player named “Speed” who is grumpy because the card game keeps being interrupted, said the cast is excited about Friday’s performance. 

“We always look forward to opening night,” said Hornaday. “Homer is fortunate to have a high-quality theater group like Pier One. We have a lot of talented people in Homer and it is fun to watch them in the Pier One productions.”

Hornaday said having to memorize a script was a new experience. 

“Over the years I have usually been in musicals which only require learning a couple of songs and kissing the girl, where in this play I have to learn lines,” he said.

Ken Landfield, who portrays the character of Vinnie, has been involved with Pier One since the early 1980s, and looks forward to the theater every summer. Last summer, Landfield played a part in Moliere’s comedy “The Imaginary Invalid.”

“(The Odd Couple) is a story many of us are familiar with, two friends with opposite temperaments trying to find a way to co-exist, preferably without killing each other,” said Landfield. “Hopefully the audience will find a lot of laughs, seasoned with just the right amount of pathos. The table is set; bon appetit.”

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. July 4-6, July 10-13, July 17-20 and July 24-26.

So far this summer Pier One audiences have been introduced to characters from “The Man from Earth,” a Youth Theatre Skills Camp production called “Remembering Kathy” and a multi-media performance called “Rhythm of the North.” It features Johnny B. and plays every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. through Aug. 5.

Coming to Pier One Theatre is the Youth Theatre production of Peter Pan playing Aug. 1-3 and Aug. 7-9, Outrageous Jazz on Aug. 15-16, and 4Play Aug. 22-24 and Aug. 29-31.

Tickets for Pier One productions can be purchased in advance at the Homer Bookstore or at the theater’s outside box office 45 minutes before the show. Reservations are encouraged.

Volunteers are needed for each performance; those interested can call Pier One Theatre at 235-7333.

Shannon Reid is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.

 

INFO BOX:

The Odd Couple

At Pier One Theatre, Homer Spit

Performances 7:30 p.m. on July 4-6, July 10-13, July 17-20 and July 24-26

Admission: $14 general, $13 seniors, $12 Raven Club members, $10 youth under 20, tickets available at the Homer Bookstore or at the box office 45 minutes before shows. 

Reservations encouraged, call 235-7333.

 

Cast and characters: 

Former Homer Mayor Jim Hornaday as Speed

Peter Sheppard as Murray

Dick Sanders as Roy

Ken Landfield as Vinnie

Peter Norton as Oscar Madison

Brian Duffy as Felix Unger

Marcia Lynn as Gwendolyn Pigeon

Brett Glidden as Cecily Pigeon

 

For more info: pieronetheatre.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/PierOneTheatre

 

The Odd Couple

Where: Pier One Theatre, Homer Spit

When:  Performances 7:30 p.m. on July 4-6, July 10-13,
July 17-20 and July 24-26

Admission: $14 general, $13 seniors, $12 Raven Club members, $10 youth under 20, tickets available at the Homer Bookstore or at the box office
45 minutes before shows. 

Reservations encouraged, call 235-7333.

Cast and characters: 

Former Homer Mayor Jim Hornaday as Speed

Peter Sheppard as Murray

Dick Sanders as Roy

Ken Landfield as Vinnie

Peter Norton as Oscar Madison

Brian Duffy as Felix Unger

Marcia Lynn as Gwendolyn Pigeon

Brett Glidden as Cecily Pigeon

 

For more info: pieronetheatre.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/PierOneTheatre

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