The Arts

Soulpepper 2008 – Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple

Soulpepper 2008 – Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple featured image

by Paula Citron.
The Odd Couple
Written by Neil Simon
Directed by Stuart Hughes
Starring Diego Matamoras and Albert Schultz
At the Young Centre until April 19.

Soulpepper’s production of Neil Simon’s 1965 smash hit The Odd Couple, treats the play and its quirky characters with respect. Simon was the master of the one liners and the opening poker game scene is still one of the funniest ever written.

43 years later, however, the rest of the play is not as funny. It is almost as if Simon shot all his bolts at the beginning, which is not to say that the next two acts are not enjoyable. They are, even if director Stuart Hughes has kept things on the more brutal rather than slapstick side.

Diego Matamoras has the obsessive-compulsive Felix Unger down to a T, while Albert Schultz as the sloppy, irresponsible Oscar Madison makes the character more intelligent than I remember. The Soulpepper male ensemble has a field day as the poker player friends, while Krystin Pellerin and Amy Rutherford are cute British dolly birds.

The Odd Couple continues at the Young Centre until April 19.

Photo credit: Cylla von Tiedemann
(Albert Schultz as Oscar and Diego Matamoros as Felix)

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