Young actors learn from old master

June 20th, 2015 12:07 pm

First Posted: 3/28/2012

Few modern playwrights are as adept at writing comedy as Neil Simon. His classic crowd pleaser, "The Odd Couple," which will be presented by The Keystone Players March 30 and 31 at 7:30 p.m. and April 1 at 2 p.m. in Brooks Theatre at Keystone College, serves as a perfect training vehicle for young actors, according to Jane Honchell, Director of Theatre at Keystone.

"The Odd Couple provides actors with a textbook example of the perfect comedy," she explained. "This hilarious play has taught my students about comic timing, the art of the double-take, and how to use facial expressions, gestures and pregnant pauses. In addition, it has such a great story, filled with wonderful characters."

The laughter begins when Oscar Madison, a divorced sports writer and total slob, played by John Gundling, a Keystone alum, invites his best friend, Felix Ungar, played by junior Joseph Croft, to share his apartment after Felix separates from his wife. Felix is a neurotic neat -freak, and it's not long before his constant cleaning and complaining begin to get on Oscar's and his poker-playing buddies' nerves.

The poker players, who gather every Friday at Oscar's huge apartment, add more humor as they try to adjust to Felix's quirks and Oscar's increasing dismay. Freshman T.J. Errigo, as Speed, aims his sarcastic barbs at Murray, a New York City policeman, played by Steve Keating, a senior.

Meanwhile, Oscar's accountant, Roy, played by junior Brandon Doughty, worries about his client's precarious financial status. Only the hen-pecked Vinnie, played by junior Josh Harris, seems to enjoy the fact that Felix has replaced Oscar's stale refreshments with freshly- made sandwiches.

Matters come to a head when Oscar arranges a double date with the British Pigeon sisters, who live upstairs. Freshman Jackie Nat portrays Cecily Pigeon, and Jila Rusavage, a senior, is Gwendolyn, Cecily's older sister. The date ends in disaster, thanks to Felix's social ineptitude, and results in the final uproarious battle between the two apartment mates.

Want to go?

What: Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple"

Where: Brooks Theatre, Keystone College

When: March 30 and 31 at 7:30 p.m. and April 1 at 2 p.m.

Cost: $8 general admission and $ for seniors and students. Tickets available at door or by calling 945.8454.