“THE ODD COUPLE” EARNS THE GOOD HOUSEKEEPING SEAL AT IVORYTON

BONNIE GOLDBERG

How can a man who thinks serving green and brown sandwiches where mold is the secret ingredient and uses his dirty underwear as dust cloths are perfectly acceptable find happiness with a man who runs an air purifier 24/7 and acts like Mary Poppins?  Oscar Madison is sloppy and scattered and wallows in a pigpen of an apartment, all eight rooms of it.  Felix Unger is fastidious and organized and a neatnik.  What brings both men together under one roof is the genius of Neil Simon and his classic comedy “The Odd Couple.”

Ivoryton Playhouse will be setting up a playpen for the pair until Sunday, August 30 as “The Odd Couple,” under the direction of Lawrence Thelen, takes to the stage.  Turn the clocks back to 1966 and remember the poker game where Felix Unger, immaculately portrayed by R.Bruce Connolly, lands on the doorstep of his good friend Oscar Madison, comfortably casually expressed by Tony Rossi, and announces his wife Frances has asked him to leave permanently.  To prevent Felix’s suicide threats, Oscar invites him to stay.

What seems on the surface to be ideal, with Felix sharing 50% of the costs  and 100% of the housekeeping duties, so Oscar can finally catch up on his child support payments, soon turns into an ugly war of Pledge and Lysol.  All the “improvements” which Felix has wrought turn into “annoyances” for Oscar to find fault with and complain about and become reasons enough to drive each other crazy.

The weekly poker game with Speed (Brian M. Cunningham), Murray (Al Mulvey), Roy (Mike Souney) and Vinnie (M. Carl Kaufman) soon bites the dust, if there were any dust.  The Pigeon sisters are adorably supportive in the hands of Laura Beth Wells and Eleanor Handley and give the bachelors new material to argue about with delightful consequences and crying towels.

For tickets ($35, adults, $30 seniors, $20 students, $15 children), call Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or online at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. ; Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Check in with Oscar and Felix before Felix has a nervous breakdown or Oscar kills him as they drive each other crazy in the name of brotherhood, bachelorhood and friendship.

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