'The Odd Couple' is Now Playing at The Village Theatre

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Charles Leggett (Oscar Madison), John X. Deveney (Vinnie), Eric Polani Jensen (Murray), Matt Wolfe (Speed), Roger Welch (Roy), Chris Ensweiler (Felix Unger). Photo by Jay Koh. Property of Village Theatre.
Charles Leggett (Oscar Madison), John X. Deveney (Vinnie), Eric Polani Jensen (Murray), Matt Wolfe (Speed), Roger Welch (Roy), Chris Ensweiler (Felix Unger). Photo by Jay Koh. Property of Village Theatre.

If you’ve only ever seen the television or movie versions of The Odd Couple by Neil Simon, why not check out the original stage version at the Village Theatre in Issaquah? The Odd Couple is probably the best known play written by Neil Simon and tells the story of the lovable slob, Oscar Madison (Charles Leggett), and his friend, the impossibly neurotic Felix Ungar (Chris Ensweiler). Ungar’s wife is divorcing him and kicks him out of their home, so he goes to live with Madison and hilarity ensues for the polar opposite roommates. I was excited to be invited to opening night, but unfortunately it was delayed due to the Snowpocalyse of 2012. Everything’s running smoothly once again and The Odd Couple is playing at the Village Theatre through the end of the month before moving on to Everett.

Until this weekend, I had only seen the TV series and the female version Simon wrote of the play called The Female Odd Couple, so what impressed me most about the stage version of The Odd Couple was Neil Simon’s sizzling dialogue, which earned him the Tony Award for Best Author. There is also an intensity to both Madison and Ungar’s friendship and their fights that really comes to the forefront on the stage but that is downplayed by the more comedic slant of the 1970’s sitcom.

Leggett and Ensweiler were pretty good as Oscar and Felix, but in my opinion, they were outshone by the supporting cast playing the Friday night poker gang. Eric Polani Jensen (Murray), Matt Wolfe (Speed), John X. Deveney (Vinnie), and Roger Welch (Roy) were excellent and provided both heart and levity to the production.

The Odd Couple is playing at The Village Theatre through February 26, 2012, before moving to the Everett Performing Arts Center where it will run from March 2 – 25, 2012.

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