Repertory Theatre of the Ozarks will present Neil Simon's classic comedy, "The Odd Couple" at WhistleStop Theater in Mammoth Spring. Show dates are Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 9 at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 10 at 1:30 p.m.
Simon's uproarious pairing of a slob and a neatfreak has kept audiences laughing through the stage version, the movie and the TV series since 1965. Oscar, the sloppy sportswriter and his compulsive clean freak newswriter friend and poker buddy, Felix, have kept audiences in stitches over the years with their attempt to live in the same apartment. Oscar is divorced and Felix is in the process of divorcing. They move in together, and their friendship comes apart at the seams. Part slapstick, part character humor, "The Odd Couple" is a great combination that makes the audience laugh and think.
"The Odd Couple" was Neil Simon's third major play on Broadway, following "Come Blow Your Horn" and "Barefoot in the Park." It opened March 10, 1965, with Walter Matthau and Art Carney as Oscar and Felix and ran through July of 1967. It won Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Author, Best Director (Mike Nichols) and Best Actor (Matthau). Jack Klugman and Eddie Bracken later played Oscar and Felix.
The 1968 movie with Matthau and Jack Lemon, which won the Writers Guild award for best written American comedy, was the first of many subsequent versions of the Odd Couple. The TV version with Klugman and Tony Randal ran from 1970 to 1975 and earned two Emmies for Klugman and one for Randall. Subsequently, there have been movie sequels of both the first movie and the TV series, a "black" TV version in 1982 with Demond Wilson and Ron Glass, a female stage version and a revised stage version.
Starring in Repertory Theatre of the Ozarks production of "The Odd Couple" are Brad Ackerman as Oscar and Patrick McIntyre as Felix. Also featured as the Pigeon Sisters are Brittany Fenner as Gwen and Vicki Cupp as Cecily. Featured as the poker playing buddies are James Ashford as Speed, Howard Elliott as Vinnie and Joe O'Neill as Murray the cop.
Brad Ackerman of Alton is making his second appearance with RTO as Oscar. He was most recently in "The Seven Year Itch," co-wrote and performed in "Blue Skies of Arkansas" and co-wrote, produced and performed in "WhistleStop Theater" on the radio for eight years, and currently is a member of Scott Arthur Allen's Creative Actors Workshop.
Patrick McIntyre of Mammoth Spring is making his debut performance with RTO as Felix and has performed in numerous church plays.
Brittany Fenner of Thayer is making her debut performance with RTO as Gwen. A dancer, she has performed in "The Wizard of Oz" and acted in "The King and I" and has played Little Red Riding Hood in a Medieval version of "Little Red Riding Hood."
Vicki Cupp of Alton makes her third appearance with RTO as Cecily. Cupp was in "My Three Angels" and "Seven Year Itch." She has also performed in "To Burn a Witch."
James Ashford of Thayer is making his second appearance with RTO as Speed. He was in "Seven Year Itch" and has appeared in productions of "Our Town" and "Guys and Dolls."
Joe O'Neill of Alton, who plays Murray the Cop, makes his debut performance with RTO. He has previously performed in "Our Town."
Howard Elliott of South Myrtle, Ark., who plays Vinnie, makes his third appearance with RTO. He was in "My Three Angels" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and has previously appeared in Tent Theater in the Chicago area.
Caroll Lucas of South Myrtle, Ark., is director of RTO's "The Odd Couple."
Tickets are $7 in advance and $8 at the door. Student tickets are $3, and groups of five or more are admitted for $5 each. Tickets are available at Cedar Mall in Mammoth Spring, West Plains Music, Sweetheart Bakery and Brad's Bike Shop in Alton, and Anna's Discount Grocery in Hardy.
WhistleStop Theater is located on Highway 63 South in Mammoth Spring, adjacent to Cedar Mall and across from the Riverview Motel.
Previous RTO productions include: Tennessee Williams' "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," Sam and Bella Spewaks' "My Three Angels" and George Axelrod's " The Seven Year Itch."
RTO is an Arkansas non-profit corporation.
"The Odd Couple" is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.