The Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre (SART) presents Neil Simon’s classic comedy The Odd Couple, running June 20–30. Performances take place Thursday– Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in Owen Theatre on the Mars Hill University Campus.
“This is one of Neil Simon’s most famous and cherished plays,” says director Charlotte Teinken. “I am thrilled to be directing it in honor of Mr. Simon, who passed away last year.”
The show tells the story of obsessively neat Felix Unger and his slovenly friend Oscar Madison. Distressed and near-suicidal after his wife demands a separation, Felix moves in with Oscar, whose wife has divorced him. Hilarity ensues as the two men struggle to share a space without ruining their friendship.
The Odd Couple opened on Broadway in 1965 and was made into a film in 1968. Several television sitcoms based on the play were produced in the 1970s and ‘80s. Simon adapted the play to feature female characters in 1985 and updated the show with contemporary references in 2002, calling it Oscar and Felix: A New Look at the Odd Couple.
Felix and Oscar are played by SART favorite Randy Noojin and newcomer Jef Canter, respectively. The cast also includes Timothy Wilds, Tony Medlin, Paul Penderman, Tristan Brown, Lara Holloway and Rebecca O’Quinn.
“I specifically wanted a play that would showcase Noojin’s amazing skills and bring Jef Canter into our company,” says SART producing artistic director Amanda Sayles. “Jef and Randy are both NYC-based actors, and they bring a sense of authenticity to The Odd Couple.”
Additionally, SART’s production of Bright Star, an award-winning bluegrass musical written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, continues through June 16. Shows take place Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in Owen Theatre.