Mahtomedi High School presents an old classic with a bit of a twist when it comes to their presentation of “The Odd Couple” that begins soon.
“The Odd Couple” originally opened on Broadway in 1965 and earned Neil Simon a Best Play Tony Award and has remained in the public eye ever since, with the movie version, two television series, a Saturday morning cartoon series and multiple stage revivals and updates, including a female version written in 1985.
The presentation at Mahtomedi High School is based on the female version according to Assistant Director Kim Loos. The eight-person cast features a mainly female ensemble of sophomores to seniors that includes: Courtney Woodard, Marissa Kramer, Collin Scott, Jordyn Flick, Megan Pontious, Nick Boyd, Amanda Kummeth and Lizzie Allen.
“The reason for that is we don’t have as many boys in our program, and a smaller group of people interested in theater than other places,” Loos said. “So it really fits our current demographics. It’s really fun though. I was a director of an all-female show for state contest last January, and the cast has known each other for a long time.”
The story focuses on Olive Madison (Oscar in the original play), a divorced sports radio commentator, who has an apartment that could easily draw the attention of the health department. During their weekly Trivial Pursuit game, Florence Ungar (Felix in the original play) arrives late and despondent, having left her home and her divorce-seeking husband. Olive and the rest of the girls get to the bottom of things, and Florence moves in.
Florence’s Martha Stewart ways don’t mix will with Olive’s Oscar the Grouch approach to life. In frustration, Olive turns to promoting romance by bringing the Costazuela brothers from upstairs into the mix.
“It’s really been a friendship-building experience for the students, and that really carries over to the play,” Loos said. “The kids in it bond well and have a great time. They play with things in rehearsals and bring their own experience and camaraderie to the play too.”
The cast has been rehearsing since the third week of September and has had a tight schedule because of various school breaks, but Loos said the group is doing well.
“We have a very talented group of people, and they’ll put on a great show,” Loos said.
The show runs on Fridays and Saturdays Nov. 15, 16, 22 and 23. All shows are at 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theater at the Chautaqua Fine Arts Center connected to the high school at 8000 N. 75th Street, Mahtomedi. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m.
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