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Sterling Playmakers The Female Odd Couple

By • Apr 18th, 2012 • Category: Reviews
The Odd Couple (Female Version) by Neil Simon
Sterling Playmakers
Sterling Middle School, Sterling, VA
Through April 22nd
2:15 with one intermission
$12/($20 for both male and female versions)
Reviewed April 14th, 2012

The Odd Couple is a classic play featuring mismatched friends living together after marital problems. The Female Odd Couple was written and set in 1985, with a similar premised as the 1965 play, except involving two mismatched women having to live together. Olive, a messy sportswriter, invites Flo, a fussy writer, to move in with her while deciding what to do when Flo’s husband tells her he wants a divorce. Their differing styles and approaches to life cause mayhem as they learn how to be roommates.

This was an amusing production. It never quite hit the antics that were possible in the interactions between Olive and Flo. Possibly I simply don’t understand how women react to stressful situations. But Olive (Vicki Sanders-Johnson) and Flo (Beverly Pruzina) did have a nice spark between them as their personalities clashed. There was a nicely performed scene when Flo was treating Olive as the husband (“You didn’t call to say you were going to be late!”). The double date with Jesus (Adrian Vigil) and Manolo (Alex Bhargava) was entertaining. It did rely a bit much on language problems, but Pruzina excelled at showing her discomfort being alone with the brothers. Sanders-Johnson definitely created an air of excitement in her wake. As she was packing Flo’s bags, you could feel her being on the edge of sanity.

The “Trivial Pursuit” gang (Annie V. Scanlon, Janet Devine Smith, Meg Roosma, Sonya Kalian) was a fun group. Most played non-specific parts, but each had a unique personality that made the group overall feel very realistic. There was a chase scene in the final scene that felt a bit too short, maybe it could have carried on a short while longer with more of a definite ending instead of ending abruptly. The preshow and intermission music was from the 1980s, with Huey Lewis and Rick Astley featuring prominently.

Overall, this was a humorous production. If you have the time, take the opportunity to see the Male version this weekend as well, so you can see the differences in the two plays. They definitely stand alone, but seeing how the other half lives is interesting.

Notes From the Director

Neil Simon revamped his 1965 hit The Odd Couple, changing all the genders, to debut in 1985 as The Female Odd Couple. Practically everyone knows the male version, but fewer know the female version — which is one reason I chose to direct it! Another reason is that women fascinate me, so I was eager to see the difference in tone that could be achieved with a feminine approach. (Thanks for your input, dear cast!) While Simon’s story line parallels the male version to a large extent, succeeds in infusing it with a woman’s point of view — and in particular, that of the liberated woman. The (sometimes crazy) friendship of these ladies, combined with the continental charm of the Costazuela brothers makes for a touching and very funny play!

Bob Rosenberg, Director of The Odd Couple, Female Version

Photo Gallery

Jesus Costazvela (Adrian Vigil) lays on the charm for Olive (Vicki Sanders) and her roommate Flo (Beverly Pruzina) Rene (Meg Roosma), Olive (Vicki Sanders), Mickey (Janet Devine Smith), Vera (Sonya Kalian), Flo (Beverly Pruzina) and Sylvie (Annie Scanlon)
Jesus Costazvela (Adrian Vigil) lays on the charm for Olive (Vicki Sanders) and her roommate Flo (Beverly Pruzina)
Rene (Meg Roosma), Olive (Vicki Sanders), Mickey (Janet Devine Smith), Vera (Sonya Kalian), Flo (Beverly Pruzina) and Sylvie (Annie Scanlon)

Photos by Paul Gernhardt

Cast

  • Olive: Vicki Sanders-Johnson
  • Flo: Beverly Pruzina
  • Sylvie: Annie V. Scanlon
  • Mickey: Janet Devine Smith
  • Rene: Meg Roosma
  • Vera: Sonya Kalian
  • Jesus: Adrian Vigil
  • Manolo: Alex Bhargava

Production Staff

  • Producer: Lora Buckman
  • Director (Female Version): Bob Rosenberg
  • Assistant Producer: Joe Campanella
  • Assistant Director (Female Version): Meredith Solano
  • Production Stage Manager: Laura Moody
  • Technical Director: Scott Rueg
  • Stage Manager: Carol Frysinger
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Amanda Carter
  • Runner: Katie Buckman
  • Lighting Technician: Bill Fry, Herb Fuller
  • Sound Technician: Rick Dulik
  • Set Design: Terry DiMurro
  • Scenic Painter: Mary Speed
  • Master Carpenter: Scott Ruegg
  • Costume Consultant: Beth Howard
  • Properties Mistress/Set Decoration: Maria Bissex
  • Properties Crew/Set Decoration: Diana Knollman, Laura Garofolo, Peggy Darr
  • Makeup: Terry DiMurro
  • Publicity Director: Anna Dulik
  • Photographers: Paul Gernhardt, Brian Garrison
  • Cinematographer: Patrick Schrader
  • House Manager: Mary Crowe
  • Publicity Advertising Manager: Angela Hepola
  • Ushers: Kathy Bleutge, John Bleutge
  • Box Office Manager: Emilie Pugh
  • Box Office Staff: Doris Argall, Burgan Pugh
  • Online Box Office Manager: Tim Silk
  • Set Construction: Alex Bhargava, April Bridgeman, Lora Buckman, Joe Campanella, Tom Cohen, Jackie Davis, Jim Davis, Mark Davis, Terry DiMurro, Bill Fry, Carol Frysinger, Brian Garrison, Takashi Iwasawa,, Jim Johnson, Sonya Kalian, Kevin J. kellenberger, Don O’Brien, Beverly Pruzina, Bob Rosenberg, Vicki Sanders-Johnson, Annie V. Scanlon, Patrick Schrader, Janet Devine Smith, Jim Smith, Meredith Solano, Mary Speed, Jay Tilley, Adrian Vigil, Tim Volt
  • Bulk Mail Chairman: Joe Campanella
  • Bulk Mail Crew: Hosson Abu-Ghannam, Tom Cohen, Mary Crowe, Anna Dulik, Kim Fry, Carol Frysinger, Jim Johnson, Jay Tilley
  • Graphic Design: Angie Allison
  • Audition Staff: Mary Crowe, Doris Argall, Laura Garofolo
  • Program Design: Angie Allison, Joe Campanella

Disclaimer: Sterling Playmakers provided a complimentary media ticket to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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has performed in local productions, but prefers to be behind the scenes. Mike earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the Online News Association.

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