Lakewood Theatre Company continues its 67th season of live theater with Neil Simon's comedy, "The Odd Couple."
Neil Simon's legendary exploration of the relationship between fastidious Felix and his sloppy roommate, Oscar, is one of the most iconic and enduring pieces of 20th century American comedy. The production demonstrates that opposites can attract, but more likely they lead to hilarious results.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25; 7 p.m. Sunday, March 22 and April 5; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8, 15, 29 and April 5. The show runs March 6 through April 12.
The theater is located at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State St. in Lake Oswego. Ticket prices are $34 for adults and $32 for seniors. Other discounts are available for students and groups. Call the Lakewood box office at 503-635-3901 or order online at lakewood-center.org.
The theater continues its WOW: 25/35 program Wednesday, March 25. For those 35 years and younger, tickets are $25 each. Use the code WOW25 when ordering online to get this special discount. At this performance, there will be a complimentary wine tasting one hour before curtain, courtesy of Owen Roe. OLCC rules apply. Bring your ID for the tasting.
The story: In one of Neil Simon's most recognizable and timeless comedies, the uptight Felix Unger (Grant Byington), a neurotic neat freak, arrives at the weekly poker party hosted by his messy friend Oscar Madison (Don Alder).
Felix is depressed and out of sorts after being thrown out by his wife. Fearing Felix will try something desperate, Oscar, himself in the process of being divorced by his wife, invites Felix to move in with him.
Within a few days, this mismatched pair is on the verge of mutual murder: Felix frustrated by Oscar's slovenliness, while Oscar is driven insane by Felix's obsession with cleanliness.
The show's cast also includes Danny Bruno, Todd Hermanson, Mark Schwahn and Gary Powell as the poker buddies. Melissa Whitney and Christy Bigelow play the Pigeon sisters, Oscar's neighbors with whom Oscar attempts to set up a potentially passionate double date.
LTC's production of "The Odd Couple" is directed by Pat Patton, the stage manager is Micah Steury, assistant stage manager is Hyrum Nicholas, scenic design is by John Gerth, sound design is by Marcus Storey, lighting design is by Nate & Juniper Zwainlesk, costume design is by Jessica Carr Miller, properties design is by Jim Crino and the producer is Steve Knox.
Simon is among the most famous and beloved American playwrights. During his over 50-year career he wrote more than 30 plays and earned many major awards, including 17 Tony nominations and a Pulitzer Prize.
At one point in his career, he had four plays running at the same time on Broadway. In 1983 he became the only living playwright to have a Broadway theatre named after him.
"'The Odd Couple' is among his earliest plays, and also among his best known, having flourished as a play on Broadway and regionally, as a film, and as a television series," Patton said. "It is a simple story — two pals, each recently divorced, move in together, bringing with them into their relationship the same mistakes they had made in the marriages they left.
"Not a very complicated story, but a very human one. And as is typical in Simon's work, a story of very human, real and recognizable characters, who struggle to find connection and a sense of belonging. But for me, the delight in directing Simon's work is encountering his comic genius," Patton said. "He is a master of the one liner, the punch line, the 'cheap bit' — the tools of comedy used so masterfully to delight us even as we are recognizing our own foibles in the characters.
"I have previously directed Simon's 'Brighton Beach Memoirs,' 'Biloxi Blues' and 'The Sunshine Boys,' so I am certain that working on this classic of American comedy will be a delight for all of us on the crew and in the cast, and hope for you in the audience as well," he said. "My thanks to Bill and Barbara Warner for their sponsorship, and to Andrew Edwards, Steve Knox and the Lakewood Theatre Company for the opportunity to spend time with Neil Simon once again."
Patton spent 32 seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in various capacities including actor, stage manager, production manager, director and Associate Artistic Director.
His 50-plus directing credits there include "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Love's Labour's Lost," "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof," "Of Mice And Men," and "The Crucible."
For eight seasons he was producing artistic director of Tacoma Actors Guild, where his directing credits include "Twelfth Night," "Macbeth," "Hay Fever," and "The Tempest."
In Portland, for Artists Repertory Theatre, Patton directed "Blue/Orange" and "Inspecting Carol," and played Jim the Gardener in "Humble Boy" and Shamrayev in "The Seagull."
He has directed several productions for Prole Theatre, winning a Drammy Award for Best Director for "Thief River" in 2011. In 2013 he directed "A Steady Rain" for Hellre Productions, for which he also received the Drammy for Best Director. He most recently directed an acclaimed production of "Waiting for Godot" for Northwest Classical Theatre Collaborative.
Don Alder (Oscar) is happy to be back on the Headlee Mainstage at Lakewood Theatre Company, having previously appeared in "Dial M for Murder," "The Dinner Party," "Vitriol and Violets," "Moon Over Buffalo" and "God of Carnage." At Lakewood he also directed "One Man, Two Guvnors," "The 39 Steps," "Present Laughter," "Spiders Web," "Noises Off" and others. Alder has also worked for Arkansas Rep, Artists Repertory Theatre, Asylum Theatre, Profile Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Portland Repertory and Sun Valley Repertory. His film and television roles include "Grimm," "Leverage," "Nowhere Man" and "Rose Red" and "Say Uncle."
Grant was last seen at Lakewood as Hugh Fennyman in "Shakespeare in Love." Other Lakewood roles include Francis in "One Man, Two Guvnors" (2017 OTAS for Best Actor in a Play), "Present Laughter" as Morris, "Inspecting Carol" as Phil Hewitt and twice as Freddy Fellowes in "Noises Off" for which he received an OTAS award for Best Supporting Actor in 2007.
Other favorite roles include Malvolio in "Twelfth Night," Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Leonato in "Much Ado about Nothing" with the Northwest Classical Theatre Company where he also appeared in the critically acclaimed production of "Waiting for Godot."
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