Oscar the slob and Felix the neatnik. Need I say more?
Literally stars of stage, screen and television, this duo has been making audiences laugh for more than half a century. The characters also have shown that even if marriage doesn’t last, friendship will survive the most annoying and aggravating habits a person can possess.
True North Theatre’s production of the “The Odd Couple,” performed at the Cyrus Pavilion theatre at the University of Maine, is a delightful escape for whatever’s ailing Greater Bangor’s theatergoing public. The cast perfectly captures all characters’ antics and by cementing the show firmly in the 1960s, the production is a nostalgic trip back in time.
First performed in 1965, “The Odd Couple” cemented playwright Neil Simon’s place in theater history as a comedic innovator in total control of his craft and set the standard for stories about oddball friends who become mismatched roommates.
Simon knows how to make an audience chortle, chuckle, howl and double over with laughter. Angela Bonacasa, artistic director of True North Theatre, thinks that is just what Mainers need right now.
The intimate theater space inside the pavilion, where the audience sits above and on three sides of the set, allows theatergoers to feel as if they are part of Oscar’s weekly poker games. Bonacasa uses the space well and keeps the cast moving on, off and around the stage filled with furniture and props from the era.
A year ago, Tyler Costigan and Tellis Coolong heated up the same space as Brick and Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Both actors are so fine at creating distinct characters that it is impossible to see a scintilla of that father/son duo in their Felix and Oscar.