‘The Odd Couple’ opens March 2 at Woodstock Opera House

Staff Report

WOODSTOCK, Ill. — Neil Simon’s Tony Award-winning comedy, The Odd Couple, which introduced the memorable characters of Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison, will be at the Woodstock Opera House for three weekends (March 2-18), thanks to McHenry County’s oldest community theater group, TownSquare Players (TSP).

Director Betsy Stemple of Marengo is leading the cast in the classic story of two friends — a neurotic neat freak newswriter (Felix) and a messy sportswriter (Oscar) — who find their friendship tested when they share an apartment after their marriages fall apart. Their different personalities, regular poker games with friends, and attempt at double-dating a couple of British sisters all provide the laughs in a show that won five Tony Awards during its original Broadway run of almost 1,000 performances. The Odd Couple has been the inspiration for everything from a female stage version to movies to TV shows to a cartoon series.

Megan Marshall of Woodstock is producing the show for TSP, which features a talented cast of northern Illinois actors, including: James Lundstrom (Oscar) of Barrington; Tim Vance (Felix) of Carpentersville; Jay Fayer (Vinnie) and Angela Kalamaras (Cecily) of Crystal Lake; Chris Warren (Speed) and Sheri Warren (Gwendolyn) of McHenry; Ward Green (Murray) of Wonder Lake; and Brian Freeman (Roy) of Woodstock.

Other staff members include: Brian Heinzelmann of McHenry, stage manager; Amanda Krumrei of Woodstock, technical coordinator; Jennifer Mitchell of Marengo, props mistress; Steven Hill of Hillside, lighting designer; Kat’s Kloset of Woodstock, costume coordination; James Lundstrom of Barrington, sound designer; Connie Appier of Lake in the Hills, set dresser; Brad Appier of Lake in the Hills, set consultant; and Char Ulanowski of Woodstock, props member.

Performances of the comedy are scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m., March 2-18. To purchase tickets, go to www.woodstockoperahouse.com, call the Woodstock Opera House box office at (815) 338-5300, or visit the box office, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock. Group discounts are available.

Dress Like the ’60s’ Contest at Odd Couple opening night

To allow audience members to get in the spirit of Neil Simon’s Tony Award-winning comedy, The Odd Couple, TownSquare Players (TSP)has designated opening night of its Woodstock Opera House production to be “Dress Like the ’60s Night.”

Friday, March 2, all audience members who attend are invited to voluntarily wear their best 1960’s-era clothing to the 8 p.m. show. Near the end of intermission, those who’ve dressed like it’s the mid- to late-1960s — the time frame in which The Odd Couple is set — will be directed to the front of the stage area, where audience members will vote for the best-dressed. The first-place winner will receive a certificate good for two admissions to TSP’s November 2012 Opera House show.

Actors in The Odd Couple, which will be performed at the Opera House on weekends from March 2-18, are not eligible to participate in the contest. TSP President Paul Lockwood says that while audience members can attend in regular clothing, he hopes a significant number of attendees will don a costume that evening to add to the enjoyment of the opening night performance.

From the Feb. 29-March 6, 2012, issue

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