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Keystone Players to present The Odd Couple

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Posted: 03/23/2012

La Plume - The Keystone Players will present The Odd Couple, Neil Simon’s classic comedy, March 30 and 31 at 7:30 p.m., and on April 1 at 2 p.m. at Keystone College’s Brooks Theatre.

Keystone Players

According to Jane Honchell, director, this old favorite evokes just as much laughter today as it did when it opened on Broadway over 40 years ago. “The true test of comic play is whether its story and humor survive over time, and as my young actors will tell you, The Odd Couple is still earning straight A’s,” Ms. Honchell said.

John Gundling, a 2008 Keystone alumnus, plays Oscar Madison, the divorced, easy-going slob who invites his pal, Felix Ungar, played by junior Joseph Croft, to live with him after Felix and his wife separate. Felix, a neurotic neat-freak, brings order to the chaos of Oscar’s life, but the bonds of friendship wear thin as the two totally incompatible men try each other’s patience in hilarious ways.  

Their buddies, who gather at Oscar’s apartment every Friday night to play poker, discover that although Felix is the perfect host, they begin to long for the bad old days when Oscar served them food long past its prime. T.J. Errigo, a freshman, who plays the sarcastic Speed, quickly loses patience, as does Roy, Oscar’s accountant, who is played by junior Brandon Doughty. Only the amiable Vinnie, played by Josh Harris, also a junior, seems to enjoy the drastic changes Felix has engineered. Steve Keating, a senior, plays Murray, a policeman, who tries to keep the peace, but even his efforts to calm the “marital” strife of the apartment mates fail after Oscar and Felix have a disastrous double date with the Gwendolyn and Cecily Pigeon, two British sisters, who live upstairs. Senior Jila Rusavage plays Gwendolyn, the older sister, who is somewhat protective of her younger sibling, played by Jackie Nat, a freshman.

Despite the non-stop laughs, The Odd Couple has its poignant moments, and this, according to Ms. Honchell, is what makes Neil Simon such a masterful playwright.

“Simon understands that to be really funny, comic characters have to be human, and their humanity reveals an underlying sadness that makes them believable. We love Oscar and Felix because, despite their exaggerated differences, we can relate to them as real people struggling to do the best they can under ridiculous circumstances,” she explained.

Tickets for The Odd Couple are available at the door 20 minutes before curtain, or may be reserved by contacting Ms. Honchell at 570-945-8454 or via e-mail. General admission is $8; tickets for students and senior citizens are $4.

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Photo Caption: Joe Croft, left, plays the compulsive neat freak, Felix Ungar, to John Gundling’s supremely messy Oscar Madison in the Keystone Players’ production of Neil Simon’s comedy, The Odd Couple.

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