Oscar and Felix. The Odd Couple. Most TV buffs are familiar with the 1968 film and series about a slob and a fussbudget who get on each other’s nerves when reduced to sharing an apartment. Fewer people are aware there’s also an “Olive-and-Florence” version of the famous Neil Simon play.
The South Okanagan Amateur Players are scouting for actors of either gender to play the title duo in their spring theatrical production of The Odd Couple. Members of the public are encouraged to audition, regardless of previous stage experience.
“SOAP’s decision to produce the male or female version of the play will depend on who auditions,” says director Penelope Johnson. “Both scripts have their own appeal, with that trademark Neil Simon humour.” Johnson has directed three previous SOAP productions and last appeared onstage with SOAP in Neil Simon’s Rumors.
Oscar (or Olive) Madison keeps a slovenly apartment, relaxing with friends over beer, pretzels, and a game of poker — or in Olive’s case, a game of Trivial Pursuit with the gals. This laid-back lifestyle ends abruptly with the arrival of Felix (or Florence) Unger, newly separated, suicidal, and searching for a place to sob out the story of a marriage gone sour. Madison takes pity on Unger and offers room and board, but soon starts regretting it when Unger embarks on a series of home improvements, including Madison’s filthy habits.
Six other roles are also available in both genders. The male version requires four more men to play Oscar’s poker buddies. It also calls for two women to play the giggly Pigeon sisters, on a date gone awry with Felix and Oscar. The female version reverses the genders: four women play Olive’s girlfriends, and two men are required as the charmingly funny Spanish suitors Manolo and Jesus.
Auditions for The Odd Couple will be held on Thursday January 13 in Room 1, Sonora Centre in Osoyoos and on Friday January 14 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre (34274 – 95th Street) in Oliver. Drop in from 7 – 9 p.m. either evening. Not convenient? Alternative audition times can be booked. Hopefuls will be asked to read portions of the script with other actors, and to act out some simple stage movement. Production dates are tentatively booked for April 29-30 and May 6-7, but may be adjusted to accommodate schedules. Rehearsal schedule will be developed in consultation with actors and crew, two to three times per week.
For more information, to book an alternative audition time, or to volunteer for backstage work, telephone Penelope Johnson at 250-498-0183 or email SOAP@telus.net .