New Jersey Stage

Friday, August 5, 2011

Television Favorites Cindy Williams and Jo Anne Worley star in Neil Simon's THE ODD COUPLE (Female Version) At Surflight Theatre

(Beach Haven, NJ) – Surflight Theatre, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Roy Miller and Executive Producer Timothy Laczynski, continues its 2011 season with the Surflight Theatre premiere of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple (Female Version) starring television favorites Jo Anne Worley (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In) and Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley). 

Directed by NJ's own Billy Van Zandt (You've Got Hate Mail and Newhart), The Odd Couple (Female Version) will run two weeks from August 4 through 21, with an Opening Night scheduled for August 4 at 8pm.

Even the best of friends can make the worst of roommates.  Neil Simon's famous mismatched couple is butting heads again – but this time with a new twist – in The Odd Couple (Female Version).  Messy Olive Madison (Cindy Williams) and neat freak Florence Unger (JoAnne Worley) come to live together following their respective failed marriages. Along for the ride are a circle of Trivial Pursuit-playing friends and a pair of neighbor brothers recently arrived from Spain.

The production also star June Gable (1974 Tony Nominee Candide and 'Estelle' on Friends) as Sylvie, Lynne Marie Stewart ('Miss Yvonne' The Pee-wee Herman Show) as Vera, Sandy Rosenberg (Mamma Mia!) as Mickey, Megan Thomas as Renee, Ruben Ortiz as Jesus Costazuela, and Jonathan Weiner as Manolo Costazuela.

The creative team includes scenic designer/technical director Charlie Smith, costume coordinator Caitlin Reed, lighting designer Marciel Greene, sound designer Nevin Steinberg, and sound engineer Tae Jong Park. Bill Gilinsky is the production stage manager.

With the Broadway premiere in 1965, The Odd Couple (which starred Art Carney and Walter Matthau) with its unforgettable pair of mismatched roommates, made Neil Simon a cultural phenomenon, and he subsequently became in his own lifetime the most commercially successful playwright in the history of theatre. After its long run on Broadway, The Odd Couple was turned into a successful film in 1968 (starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau) and then became a popular television series on ABC running from 1970 to 1975, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. The television show is still syndicated in reruns, the movie version appears frequently on television, and regional and local theatre groups mount productions of the play with great regularity.  In 1985 Simon responded to the continued popularity of his odd pair by writing a female version for Broadway, in which all the characters' genders were reversed (starring Rita Moreno and Sally Struthers). This new version helped perpetuate the "odd couple" as one of the most memorable pair of characters in the history of commercial theatre.

Surflight Theatre, 201 Engleside Avenue, is located in historic Beach Haven, New Jersey. The Odd Couple (Female Version) performances are Thursday, August 4 at 8pm; Friday, August 5 at 2pm and 8pm; Saturday, August 6 at 8pm; Sunday, August 7 at 2pm and 8pm; Tuesday, August 9 at 2pm and 8pm; Wednesday, August 10 at 2pm; Thursday, August 11 at 2pm and 8pm; Friday, August 12 at 8pm; Saturday, August 13 at 8pm; Sunday, August 14 at 2pm; Tuesday, August 16 at 8pm; Wednesday, August 17 at 2pm; Thursday, August 18 at 2pm and 8pm, Friday, August 19 at 8pm; Saturday, August 20 at 8pm; and Sunday, August 21 at 2pm.  Tickets are $36-$54.  Tickets are available online at www.surflight.org. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Surflight box office, or by phone at 609-492-9477.