The Ocean City Repertory Theater presents its production of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple - Female Version" on stage now through Oct. 13.
Theater director Flossi Micciolo said she chose this play for a couple of factors: "I wanted to do a comedy, everyone likes to laugh, and Neil Simon is the master of the one-liners. I wanted to do an ensemble piece where everyone has a important role, and lastly finding good roles for women is something that's always important to me as a female director," she said.
The Ocean City Repertory Theater is the only theater in the city that is open year-round. Therefore in the off-season Micciolo tries to pick shows with large leading casts. "The Odd Couple - Female Version" cast includes six women, Micciolo being one of them, and each character has a very distinct personality and lead role, she said. This is Micciolo's first major role since she founded the black box theater back in 2001.
"I was trying to find a role that would fit me as well," she said. "Acting was always my first love, and I was itching to get back on the stage."
Simon's "The Odd Couple" premiered on Broadway in 1965, and was followed by a successful movie, television sitcom and Simon's subsequent spin-off of the Female Version. Micciolo said Simon wrote the female version because so many directors were asking him for his permission to put female into the male roles.
Ocean City's "The Odd Couple - The Female Version" follows newly single, neat-freak Florence Unger, performed by Linwood resident Sharon Spitz, as she moves in with her good friend, the untidy, Olive Madison, performed by Micciolo.
The duo are then joined by their group of witty Trivial Pursuit playing friends: Carol Miroschnitschenko, of Ocean City, as the ditzy Vera, Cecilia Dugan, of Ocean City, as Mickey the cop, Rachel Handler, of Linwood, as Sylvia and Elisha Jachetti, of Galloway, as Renee.
Spitz said she predicts the play will draw an older audience, simply because they know of the show from watching the film and sitcom, but she is certain all ages will walk away laughing.
"It's really just a hysterical performance," she said.
Contact Elisa Lala:
If you go
What: The Ocean City Repertory Theater presents Neil Simon's 'The Odd Couple - Female Version'
Where: 813 Asbury Ave.
When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays now through Oct. 13
Reservations call 609-457-6686