Off-Broadway smash hit comes to local theatre

 

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Ask a woman about a personal triumph or tragedy in her life, and chances are she’ll remember the clothing she was wearing at the time. That’s the basic premise of SOAP’s next comedy, Love, Loss , and What I Wore by sisters Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron and based on the best-selling  picture-book memoir by Ilene Beckerman. The Ephron sisters are noted for their quick-witted rom com films, When Harry Met Sally, Julie and Julia, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.

But the play is not about  “fashion”, far from it.  It’s  about memory and relationships, about emotions and how old emotions can be relived through items of clothing  hanging in a woman’s closet. The result is a funny,  poignant, and ultimately uplifting collection of stories, all of them true.

Jen Jensen directs a cast of five women (Linda Lobb, Christine Rothwell, Penelope Johnson, Robin Stille , and Tracey Granger) who reminisce their way through a series of monologues, dialogues, and rapid fire vignettes. Assuming a variety of characters and voices, the women recall touchstone moments in a woman’s life, told through her clothing: a childhood dress, the embarrassment of  fitting a first bra,  a prom gown and the beau who went with it, the pain and sexiness of high heeled shoes, finding the right dress to marry the one you love, why women adore black, and the love-hate relationship with a purse.  Scenes vary from serious to sexy to just plain silly.

Tying the 28 scenes together is Gingy (Linda Lobb),  a straight-talking senior who uses tongue-in-cheek humour to retell her life story through her clothes. On the way, she inspires four other women to join in with anecdotes of their own, following a roughly chronological format from childhood, through loves and losses,  to career and motherhood, and on to the golden years.

The show is especially recommended as a hilarious evening out for moms and daughters, sisters, and women’s groups.

Hint for guys: Valentine’s Day is coming up and a pair of tickets to Love, Loss, and What I Wore could be just the “ticket” for your own romance! And if she wants to drag you along instead of her girlfriend, be flattered!

While the estrogen level may be high onstage, the show promises to be both an eye-opener and a source of amusement for men. What do women really do in the department store change-room?  What is she really thinking when standing in front of the closet for minutes on end? Why do women wear boots year-round? Why is what she wears  so important to her anyway? The show reveals many of women’s secret fears and private joys, using clothing as a metaphor for memory.   Women may laugh with the characters, while  men laugh at them, but laughter is guaranteed for both genders!

Love, Loss and What I Wore will be produced on consecutive weekends in March:

March 1  & 2 at Summerland Centre Stage
March 8 & 9 at the Osoyoos Minitheatre
March 15 & 16 at the Oliver Seniors Centre 
 

Tickets go on sale Monday January 28.   Adults $18 and  Seniors(65+) /Students $15. Visit Sundance Video (Oliver), Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), Dragon’s Den (Penticton) or The Sweet Tooth (Summerland) to purchase yours.

For more information, contact SOAP @ telus.net or the producer at 250-498-3597.

Women invited to audition for SOAP’s “Love Loss and What I Wore”

The laughter has barely died down from SOAP’s comedy The Long Weekend, but the local theatre group is set for more comedy with their next production, Love Loss and What I Wore, by Nora and Delia Ephron,  based on the 1995 book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman.

The production will be staged in early to mid March 2012, and will be directed by Jen Jensen, assistant director for  The Long Weekend.

Nora Ephron is an Oscar-nominated screenplay writer best known for When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, so this play mixes  laughs and heart-tugging tears.  Love Loss, and What I Wore is presented in “readers’ theatre” style with a cast of five women speaking directly to the audience as well as each other, in a series of monologues and dialogues. The cast discusses women’s relationships with their wardrobe at critical moments of a woman’s  life.

Clothing becomes a metaphor for women’s experiences:  wardrobe malfunctions, puberty’s relationship with personal wardrobe, first date outfits, lucky underwear, prom dresses, favorite boots, irreplaceable shirts, the detested, disorganized purse, and experiences in the dressing room. The recollections about the clothing prompt the women’s memories about their mothers, boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands, sisters and grandchildren.

In 2009, the show was produced Off-Broadway. The production won the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience as well as the 2010 Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite New Off-Broadway Play. The show has been produced on six continents and more than eight countries.

SOAP’s auditions run Sunday November 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Osoyoos Art Gallery, 8713 Main Street, Osoyoos    and Monday November 19 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre, 5840 Airport Street, Oliver.  The audition is open to women of all ages – the cast represents women from young adulthood to senior years.  New actors are encouraged to try out.  Call 498-1954 or soap @ telus.net for more information.

Women invited to audition for SOAP's "Love Loss and What I Wore"

The laughter has barely died down from SOAP’s comedy The Long Weekend, but the local theatre group is set for more comedy with their next production, Love Loss and What I Wore, by Nora and Delia Ephron,  based on the 1995 book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman.

The production will be staged in early to mid March 2012, and will be directed by Jen Jensen, assistant director for  The Long Weekend.

Nora Ephron is an Oscar-nominated screenplay writer best known for When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, so this play mixes  laughs and heart-tugging tears.  Love Loss, and What I Wore is presented in “readers’ theatre” style with a cast of five women speaking directly to the audience as well as each other, in a series of monologues and dialogues. The cast discusses women’s relationships with their wardrobe at critical moments of a woman’s  life.

Clothing becomes a metaphor for women’s experiences:  wardrobe malfunctions, puberty’s relationship with personal wardrobe, first date outfits, lucky underwear, prom dresses, favorite boots, irreplaceable shirts, the detested, disorganized purse, and experiences in the dressing room. The recollections about the clothing prompt the women’s memories about their mothers, boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands, sisters and grandchildren.

In 2009, the show was produced Off-Broadway. The production won the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience as well as the 2010 Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite New Off-Broadway Play. The show has been produced on six continents and more than eight countries.

SOAP’s auditions run Sunday November 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Osoyoos Art Gallery, 8713 Main Street, Osoyoos    and Monday November 19 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre, 5840 Airport Street, Oliver.  The audition is open to women of all ages – the cast represents women from young adulthood to senior years.  New actors are encouraged to try out.  Call 498-1954 or soap @ telus.net for more information.

SOAP’s Wild Guys contribute to new theatre

Patrick Turner (right), president of the South Okanagan Amateur Players, presents a cheque for just over $450 to Martin Cattermole of the Adopt-a-Seat Campaign. The fund will help to pay for theatre fittings not covered by the Venables rebuild: seats, stage curtains, lights, sound equipment, and so on.  The amount represents a portion of the proceeds from SOAP’s fall production of the comedy The Wild Guys. The troupe had pledged to contribute $1 from every ticket sold plus the profit from the concession.

This marks the Players’ second donation to Adopt-a-Seat: SOAP contributed $1000 in 2010 after their production of the Neil Simon comedy, Rumors.  

SOAP has just obtained the rights to produce The Long Weekend by Canadian playwright Norm Foster. Two couples spending a weekend at a country cottage  base their friendship on a string of hilarious lies and deceit. Gradually the truth is revealed, but only the audience gets to find out the last and greatest secret.  The biting comedy is slated for production on the last two weekends in October.

Photo Credit: Penelope Johnson

SOAP's Wild Guys contribute to new theatre

Patrick Turner (right), president of the South Okanagan Amateur Players, presents a cheque for just over $450 to Martin Cattermole of the Adopt-a-Seat Campaign. The fund will help to pay for theatre fittings not covered by the Venables rebuild: seats, stage curtains, lights, sound equipment, and so on.  The amount represents a portion of the proceeds from SOAP’s fall production of the comedy The Wild Guys. The troupe had pledged to contribute $1 from every ticket sold plus the profit from the concession.

This marks the Players’ second donation to Adopt-a-Seat: SOAP contributed $1000 in 2010 after their production of the Neil Simon comedy, Rumors.  

SOAP has just obtained the rights to produce The Long Weekend by Canadian playwright Norm Foster. Two couples spending a weekend at a country cottage  base their friendship on a string of hilarious lies and deceit. Gradually the truth is revealed, but only the audience gets to find out the last and greatest secret.  The biting comedy is slated for production on the last two weekends in October.

Photo Credit: Penelope Johnson

SOAP auditions for comedy The Long Weekend

The South Okanagan Amateur Players invite the public to audition for its fall comedy-of-manners, The Long Weekend by Canada’s most prolific and popular playwright Norm Foster. Auditions are Sunday April 15 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre in Oliver (5840 Airport St.) and Monday April 16 at St. Christopher’s Lower Hall in Osoyoos (87 St and 74th Ave). Both auditions run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. No previous experience or audition piece required.

The Long Weekend opens at the summer home of successful lawyer Max and his wife Wynn. The couple invite Wynn’s old high school friend Abby and her husband Roger for a weekend getaway. Polite exchanges quickly give way to thinly masked animosity as old jealousies and insecurities resurface. Pompous Max dislikes Roger’s bohemian life as a novelist, while Roger in turn feels threatened by Max’s financial success. Wynn and Abby each secretly dread the other’s criticism of their lifestyle and tastes. Much of the comedy stems from the contrast between the public niceties and the private barbed remarks. Surprising revelations and sharp, biting dialogue turn the weekend into a hilarious disaster as the whole facade of friendship collapses.

At a recent read-through of the play, SOAP Board members were literally weeping with laughter and gasping out the dialogue. The script moves at a whip-cracking pace. The one-liners are snappy and cleverly resurface through the play even funnier than before. The plot is tight but never improbable, and best of all there are several unexpected twists, with a satisfying humdinger in the final few minutes of the play.

The Long Weekend requires four actors: two women of a similar age and their husbands. Director Ted Osborne will consider actors from mid-30s to mid-50s for the roles. Male ages can be more flexible.

The play will be produced over two weekends in late October. Cast read-throughs will begin in May, with some occasional rehearsing during the summer, and more intense rehearsing beginning in September. Cast schedules will be considered when booking rehearsal times. For more information, contact SOAP @ telus.net or director Ted Osborne at 250-495-2776.

Wild Guys ready to perform November 25 – December 3

“It’s sure different with just the four guys on stage,” says actor Tom Szalay, commenting on the first South Okanagan Amateur Player’s production to feature an all-male cast. Szalay is referring to The Wild Guys, a Canadian comedy by Andrew Wreggitt and Rebecca Shaw. It opens the weekend of November 25 and 26 at OSS Minitheatre in Osoyoos, and continues on December 2 and 3 at the Oliver Seniors Centre.

“We guys definitely need more beer events after rehearsals to better develop our manly characters, ” he says, grinning, and with tongue firmly in cheek.

Above Photo: “Men’s sensitivity weekend” junkie Robin (Craig Bjornson, left) teaches Andy (Tom Szalay) how to get in touch with the natural world using meditation.

The four male co-stars are Craig Bjornson, David Badger, Patrick Turner, and Szalay. They play a new age hippie, a high powered lawyer, a grocer and a sales executive who all venture into the Alberta bush on a men’s sensitivity weekend. What begins as a simple hike to a cabin for some steaks, fishing, and heart-to heart talk becomes a hilarious survival weekend when the foursome lose their way and discover supplies have disappeared. Bjornson enjoys the home-grown feel of the script: “I like that it is a Canadian play with references and locations that an audience will recognize.”

Above Photo: Stewart (Patrick Turner, right) is more interested in relaxing with a beer. 

Each character has his own mid-life crisis, facing issues of career advancement, romance and marriage, aging, and mortality. Szalay describes his character as “a geeky know-it-all who only thinks he has it all together!” Turner’s grocer is “stuck in a rut at the Lone Pine Co-op and would like some advancement. But he’s really just a small town boy.” Badger, playing an abrasive lawyer with all the perks of his lifestyle, eventually confides his insecurities. Bjornson says his tree-hugging character is “a soul of the earth kind of guy but he spends way too much time trying to change the world”, only to discover what needs to change is himself. Huddling around a campfire, the men eventually pour out their secrets, some poignant, some wry, some funny. 

The revelations may bring a tear or two to the audience, but the laughs follow right behind. Physical comedy, sight gags, pop culture references, and poking fun at male stereotypes will all guarantee lots of chuckles.

Above Photo: Starving Andy scarfs down some saskatoon berries he’s collected in his hat  while Randall (David Badger, left) watches greedily.

 

While the cast breaks manly stereotypes onstage in The Wild Guys, ladies working behind the scenes break stereotypes of their own in key jobs as producer, stage manager, lead hand (set), sound and lighting. Director Ted Osborne enjoys the challenge of balancing the testosterone onstage and the estrogen backstage. “Yep,” he laughs, “It’s that age old story where guys on stage just want to bluster ahead and “get the job done” and the female crew backstage want to organize and adjust. Now, keeping that working in harmony can be a challenge alright!”

 Photo: Lawyer Randall loses patience with crystal gazing, tree-hugging Robin.  

 

Tickets for The Wild Guys are $15 adults and $12 seniors / students and are available at Sundance Video (Oliver), Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), and at the door.

Photo: Andy earnestly tries to explain the principles of the men’s sensitivity movement to Randall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOAP’s spring production may reverse gender worlds. The troupe plans to produce the all-female, hit Broadway play Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Nora Ephron and her sister Delia. Females wishing to audition, and guys wishing to work backstage are invited contact SOAP at SOAP@telus.net or 250-498-3597.

Photo: Randall and Robin share some deep secrets at the campfire. Come find out what they are !

Tickets on sale October 31 for The Wild Guys

A Canadian comedy about four middle-aged men dissatisfied with their humdrum lives who embark on a men’s sensitivity retreat in the woods. Once they get lost, all chaos – and comedy – breaks loose. Special deal: your ticket price includes free concession!

A great show for guys … and the gals who love ’em.

For more information, contact SOAP @ telus.net

 

SOAP Players await word on new community theatre

Members and directors of the South Okanagan Amateur Players (SOAP) are anxiously awaiting information on what will be done to replace the Frank Venables Auditorium following the devastating fire at South Okanagan Secondary School earlier this month. SOAP has regularly used the Venables for productions such as their successful sell-out  The Sound of Music (2008) , Neil Simon’s comedy Rumors  (pictured at left) in 2010, and last season’s Twelve Angry Jurors and The Odd Couple.  All told, Oliver has seen community theatrical productions in the Venables for more than 50 years.  What follows is a press release from SOAP in response to the Venables Auditorium fire:

Patrons and the many area residents involved in SOAP productions realize the importance the venue has been to the performing arts in the South Okanagan and as an educational facility for drama students.

“We realize many factors will come into play regarding the future of a performing arts venue in Oliver,” says SOAP President Patrick Turner (pictured above onstage in Rumors) . “We urge all parties involved to work together in the hopes a satisfactory arrangement can be made that will replace the Venables theatre, both as a community-use facility and for drama classes.”

Earlier this year, with the knowledge that the auditorium would be undergoing major renovations, it was decided to seek out other venues in Oliver. The board is pleased to announce it is proceeding with the fall production of The Wild Guys, a Canadian play by Calgarians Andrew Wreggitt and Rebecca Shaw, which will be staged at the Osoyoos Mini-Theatre on Nov. 25 and 26 and at the Oliver Seniors Centre Dec. 2 and 3 with a special matinee performance proposed for Sunday, Dec. 4. Partial proceeds from the production will be earmarked towards a new auditorium in Oliver.

For further information contact Patrick Turner, President

SOAP 250-498-7778

SOAP auditions seek four Wild Guys

The South Okanagan Amateur Players are holding open auditions for their fall comedy, The Wild Guys by Andrew Wreggitt and Rebecca Shaw, directed by Ted Osborne. In this Canadian play, four good-natured guys “take off to the great white north” on a men’s sensitivity weekend. This popular male bonding event takes city slickers into a wilderness setting to confront their primal fears and get in touch with their inner selves.

Andy, a CEO and men’s movement advocate, and Robin, a crystal-gazing New Ager, coax Stewart, an unsuspecting grocer, and Randall, a sceptical lawyer, into reluctantly participating in primitive rituals and communal hugs. The weekend quickly unravels when the guys become lost and discover all their food has disappeared. The result? Hockey cheers and Neil Young singalongs! This play is a satire on men’s self-help encounters of the type made famous by drum-beating poet Robert Bly and the new-age, touchy-feely movement that supported it.

The four male characters range from mid 20s to early 60s. The dialogue is fast-paced, funny, and easy to memorize. The roles are of equal size. Newcomers welcome. The production is scheduled for November, with rehearsals progressing from two to three times per week.

Auditions are on Sunday August 28 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Osoyoos Art Gallery (upstairs, west entrance), at the corner of 89th and Main; and on Monday August 29 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre 34274 -95th St., Oliver. To find out more information or to schedule an alternate audition, contact //o53o:\"!##$$\'x))(#o5$P{|(A{\'xy&ooo:Po:o5ooQfQTcb6,9CCCCNGx (\'9)CG6N\"I(Oxt$Bo:AQx$&tv ;BxBz$o5o5?<:A&x$ tvx;B;AA<;A

Closeup on The Odd Couple

The South Okanagan Amateur Players are into production! The Odd Couple by Neil Simon runs for two weekends: April 29 -30 at the Osoyoos Mini Theatre and  May 6 – 7 at the SOSS Venables Theatre.  Slobby divorcee Olive Madison reluctantly invites neat-freak Florence Unger to share her apartment. The gals re-enter the dating scene when they double-date the Costazuela brothers.

Tickets $15 and $12 available at Sundance Video (Oliver) Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), and at the door. Curtain rises at 8:00 p.m.

Here are some shots from their performance.

Photo 1: Colleen Misner, makeup and hairstylist, turns Tom Szalay into “tall dark and Spanish” suitor Manolo Costazuela. Next on the regimen: black hair dye and a double-breasted suit for Tom.

Photo 2: Leslee Hatherly (Florence Unger) touches up Paul Everest (Jesus Costazuela).  Next up for Paul: tons of dark makeup and a suit to transform him into a Spanish gentleman.

Photo 3: Olive Madison (played by Aimee Grice, second from left) complains about her new roomate Florence Unger to her Trivial Pursuit playing girlfriends: Vera (Lynne Richards), Mickey (Diane Gludovatz), Renee (Linda Venables) and Sylvie (Jen Jensen).

Photo 4: Jesus Costazuela (Paul Everest) greets Florence Unger (Leslee Hatherly) while his brother Manolo (Tom Szalay) and Olive Madison (Aimee Grice) look on.

Photo 5: Manolo (Tom Szalay, left) and  Jesus (Paul Everest, right) comfort Florence (Leslee Hatherly, centre) as she reminisces over her family photo album.

Photo credit: Penelope Johnson

Got Your Tickets Yet?

Meet Olive Madison: “I love sports, I like to paint. I like photography. I don’t like to clean up. When I got married my wedding dress had CocaCola stains on it.”  Separated and man-crazy, more concerned about bringing home the bacon than frying it up in a pan, Olive is the epitome of the word SLOB.

Meet Florence Unger: ” Just you wait. I’ll turn this apartment into something out of Architectural Digest. You’ll see furniture you never knew you had. ” Separated and still missing her “short, hairless cowboy” husband, Florence channels her insecurities about singlehood into cleaning up…. after Olive.

Olive’s big mistake? Allowing Florence to move in. Florence’s big mistake? Underestimating Olive’s frustration. Your big mistake? Missing this hilarious comedy. Get your tickets today!

Laughs double up cast at Odd Couple rehearsals

Aimee Grice is wiping the tears from her eyes. “Sorry, I just can’t go on,” she splutters. “Let me … just … catch my breath.”  She’s not crying: Grice is doubled over in a fit of giggles.

Grice is in rehearsal for SOAP’s upcoming production of Neil Simon’s  The Odd Couple. In the female version of the famous comedy, the eponymous “Oscar” and “Felix” become the slobby divorcee Olive Madison (played by Grice) and her irritatingly neat roomate Florence Unger (played by Leslee Hatherly). The comedy follows two newly single ladies as they navigate the rules of sharing an apartment and returning to the dating scene.

Grice and Hatherly (at left)  are two strong actors, although relative newcomers to SOAP. This is Aimee’s fourth production, after singing in the nuns chorus in The Sound of Music (2008), then taking the lead in Sand Mountain (2009) and an ensemble part in Rumors (2010). Leslee took a small and serious role in this season’s drama, Twelve Angry Jurors, but her comic talents take centre stage in The Odd Couple.

Director Penelope Johnson is taking the cast through one of the funniest scenes in the play: Olive and Florence on a double date with their attractive Spanish neighbours, the Costazuela brothers. Aimee’s shoulders shake as she struggles to remain in character.  Waiting patiently for the rehearsal to continue are Tom Szalay (as Monolo Costazuela) and Paul Everest (as Jesus Costazuela).  Szalay and Everest have been practicing the Castilian accents and charming manners  required for their roles.

 “Monolo and I have brrrrought you frrresh flowers and frrresh candy,” says Everest, rolling his Rs. “Please to accept my deep felicitations. We hope you like them. The candy ees …  um ….no good.”

“No good?” responds Grice as Olive, trying unsuccessfully not to smile.

“Si. Very chewy,” says Tom as Manolo.

“Do you mean nougat?” says Olive.

“Ah si! Nou–gat! Not ‘no good’… nougat! So stoopid. We are steeell berry new at Engleesh.”  

Aimee splutters again. “Sorry,” she says, holding up her hand to call another halt. “It’s too funny,  plus I’m soooo tired.”  Grice is a new mother, battling sleep deprivation. Her babe-in-arms occasionally joins her at rehearsals. “That’s the deal,” explains Penelope Johnson. “Aimee can perform if I direct while dandling her baby on my knee.”  

Also in the cast are Linda Venables, Lynne Richards, Diane Gludovatz and Jen Jensen as the Trivial Pursuit playing girlfriends of Olive and Florence. In the play, the ladies add some “gal pal” humour to the storyline, give advice, and play referees to Olive and Florence’s squabbles over housekeeping and dating. The foursome also  act as surrogate moms to Grice’s baby, passing the little girl from knee to knee as they practice their lines. 

Grice and Hatherly find they are growing into their characters during the rehearsal period.  “Olive is not a stretch for me,” admits Aimee Grice, who revels in the opportunity to make a mess on stage. On the other hand, Leslee Hatherly, as the house-proud Florence, is dicovering her hidden neat freak. “My kitchen at home has never been SO CLEAN. I’m really immersing myself in this character.” 

The lead actors are enjoying their time together at rehearsal. “Olive and Florence get quite a workout on stage,” says director Johnson. “The action can get fast and furious.”  Lately they have been choreographing a couple of fight scenes (involving a vacuum cleaner, a ladle, a can of deodorizer, and a plate of linguini) and a chase scene (involving a can of pepper spray and a suitcase of lingerie).  Curiously enough, Hatherly and Grice find the hilarity and crazy antics at rehearsals an antidote to their busy lives.

The Odd Couple is slated for production on Friday April 29 and Saturday April 30 at the Osoyoos  MiniTheatre (OSS), and on Friday May 6 and Saturday May 7 at the Frank Venables Auditorium (SOSS) in Oliver.  Tickets are $15 Adults and $12 Seniors/Students.  They go on sale at the end of March, through Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), and Sundance Video (Oliver). Watch for posters to indicate the start of ticket sales.  More information can be obtained at //)4ON)G$Nc-.0:$IGd$I5776-7=;:\'>-\'$Id\'1;<00:\'Ud$$-.)1$N57a4

Men and women needed for SOAP’s Odd Couple

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 .