Odd Couple Bring Differences To ACT

Comedic play comes to town for one night on January 10

Andrew McNee

Andrew McNee

Long before the buddy comedy became the staple of Hollywood, the original bromance took place on Broadway.

Neil Simon’s Tony-award-winning play The Odd Couple will make a one night appearance at the Arts and Community Theatre in maple Ridge on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 8 p.m.

The play is being produced by Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre Company, and features Langara’s Studio 58 grads Robert Moloney as the clean freak Felix Ungar and Andrew McNee as the sports writing slob Oscar Madison.

The original Simon play debuted in 1965 to rave reviews. It was followed by the hit movie in 1968 featuring Walter Matthau and Art Carney. In the early 1970s, The Odd Couple made its way to the small screen, featuring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, again to rave reviews.

Now, director John Murphy recreates the roles of two hopelessly lost roommates looking for some calm in their lives.

“This is ultimately a comedy about friendship,” said Murphy, “in particular, the powerful bond of male friendship.”

He said the timeless story is something that audiences are drawn to and is excited to take the production on tour.

The Odd Couple will play in nine different venues, including stops in Mission on Jan. 26 and a four-night run in Coquitlam, Jan. 27-31.

“It’s also a 1960s period piece — think Mad Men but really, really funny,” said Murphy.

The heart of the play lies in how the two characters live their lives on opposite ends of the spectrum. The character of Felix is clean, well educated and very set in his ways, while the Oscar character is the typical boorish sports reporter. Yet both are drawn to one another because of their recent divorces, and, of course, because they are men.

“The one-liners are rapid fire and nonstop, yet it still manages to tell a touching story of two best friends trying to work out their differences,” said Murphy.

• For tickets, visit http://www.theactmapleridge.org/buy-tickets or call 604-476-2787.