Wednesday, July 25, 2007

NPR offers XOXOXO to "The O C"

It took a while, but the National Public Radio review of The Odd Couple at Hanover Tavern is in, and it’s another rave! The O C runs for only four more weeks—it’s gotta close on August 19 so that we can load in Deathtrap. It’s great to see a 40-year old play come so beautifully to life—a true American classic in the making. Don’t miss it. For a good time, call 282-2620, and make your reservations TODAY!

Here are a few highlights from John Porter’s review:

“Writing a review of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, now playing at Barksdale Hanover Tavern, is a relatively simple task. I’ve just got to find ways to say, 'It’s brilliant' for the next three minutes or so.

First of all, there’s the script. This is one of Simon’s early works that shows just how much of an American genius he really is. The dialogue sparks like an electric live wire and it gives the actors a broad canvas on which to paint their characters.”

“Then there’s the cast. How do you go wrong with two very strong leads who are on the top of their game? David Bridgewater is delightful as the king-sized larger than life slob known as Oscar Madison. He feels free to let loose with an over-the-top performance that breathes new life into one of the premiere characters of the American comedy stage. His partner in crime, the always strong Scott Wichmann, is just about dead-on perfect as uberneat Felix Unger.”

“The supporting cast includes a mix of well-known performers and new faces. The veterans include Steve Moore, Jeff Clevenger, Jennifer Frank and Jen Meharg, who all turn in strong performances.”

“On the technical side, the costumes by Heather Hogg evoke the early sixties very well. No, nobody is dressed up in tie-dyed bell bottoms, this was a different class altogether. The set by Terrie Powers and David Powers has a nice touch with autographed sports pictures on Oscar’s walls, lending credence to the proper era and telling us a little bit more about his character at the same time. The lighting design is by Bennett J. Fidlow and adds well to the evening.

Director Joe Pabst shows a deft touch with Simon’s dialogue. On the surface it can seem deceptively simple, but like Shakespeare or Mamet, Simon’s words have a distinct ebb and flow. If it’s not played just right, forget it, the whole thing comes crashing down like a house of cards.

In this case, the house stays up and rocks with laughter all night long.”

“I can always use more laughter in my life, and an evening of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, may just be the perfect way to pass a summer’s night.”


It would be hard to beat a review like that! Insider’s Tip: Scott Wichmann and his wife Jen Meharg will be out of the show from August 8 through 12, replaced by the wonderful Richard Koch and his wife Vickie McLeod. Then Scott and Jen will be back for closing week. So if you’re a big fan of either couple, be sure to catch the show during the week they’ll be playing. Or if you're a fan of both couples ... come see it twice!

--Bruce Miller


Anonymous said...

Steve Moore and the Pigeon Sisters (Jen Meharg and Jennifer Frank) really stole the show for me!

Big fan of Vickie McLeod's work, so am planning a trip back down to see them!

Thespis' Little Helper said...

Joe's direction is incredible. His staging is clear, the bits are solid, very nicely done. I also got to see his production of James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim's Follies at Dogwood Dell summer, also very impressive I am truly hoping that this production leads to us getting to see quite a bit more of Joe's work on the Richmond boards.

Jacquie O. said...

I so enjoyed this production. I have seen the Odd Couple about 10 times and kinda hate the movie. But man, oh man...this production really touched me. I didn't get a chance to congratulate all the actors because they left out the front door that day...but kudos to all!

Anonymous said...

There's also a MEGA-RAVE for Odd Couple that just came out in STYLE, as well as a MEGA-RAVE for Henry IV. We went to see Henry based on Bruce's blog entry, and we must be a little stupider than Bruce, cause we couldn't understand a lot of the words. BUT ... we had a great evening because the actors were so good. Bruce was right to praise them and send us their way.

I know you must put a lot of time into this blog. I really enjoy it. Keep it up.