SCRANTON — Two Clarks Summit residents will return as co-stars to the Actors Circle stage in the theater group’s production of “The Odd Couple” by Neil Simon, to open Thursday, Oct. 19. And the show’s director, Factoryville resident Cathy Rist Strauch, couldn’t be more pleased with the casting.
Tom Malone and David Hunisch, who recently performed together in Actors Circle’s production of “Leading Ladies,” also directed by Strauch, will portray Oscar and Felix, respectively, in the upcoming comedy.
Strauch said the acting duo possesses a great on-stage chemistry, reminding her of a “Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis team.”
She said the rest of the cast is doing an amazing job as well, including Mark Fryer, as Roy; Christopher Alu, as Vinnie; Tony Ranieli, as Speed; Jeff Ginsberg, as Murray; Susan Parrick, as Gwendolyn; and Meggie Roche, as Cecily.
The production is scheduled for Oct. 19-22 and 26-29 at Providence Playhouse, 1256 Providence Road. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances will begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday performances at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors and $8 for students, with opening night tickets discounted at $8 for general admission and seniors and $6 for students.
Reservations may be made by calling 570-342-9707 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I love Neil Simon’s work, and this is one of his ultimate classics,” Strauch said of “The Odd Couple,” when asked why she chose this play.
“It’s really become an American classic,” he said. “It’s been performed so many times since it was originally on stage, and then there was the film version, and then the television series. …It’s really a strong script and Neil Simon is a great writer.”
Of his character, Hunisch said, “He (Felix) has just gone through a breakup with his wife and he arrives at his friend Oscar’s home. He’s very distraught and Oscar takes him in, but he’s very different from Oscar. …Oscar is very loose and kind of sloppy, and Felix is very neat and very uptight.”
“You have a person who’s sloppy and invites a clean freak to come and live with him and the two of them are trying to manage their lifestyles together,” explained Strauch. “In the meantime, you have these friends that they play poker with. It’s a great ensemble cast for the guys. …It’s more of a cameo for the women who come in as the Pigeon Sisters, but it’s a really good scene.”
The director said she believes the show will be a crowd pleaser.
“They (the audience) are going to thoroughly enjoy this,” she said.
“It’s a comedy, so there’s no doubt they’re going to laugh,” said Hunisch. “There’s a lot of great one-liners in the show, too – certain lines that have become famous. …It’s just a really well-written script, and I think if you have good actors and a good script, then the audience is going to have a lot of fun.”
And, according to Strauch, the group was in need of some laughs.
“We just put on a fabulous drama, ‘The Diary of Anne Frank,’ which makes you think about things, and feel with your heart, in that regard,” she said. “And now we’re ready for laughing with our hearts.”