Carroll Players staging female 'Odd Couple'


$TC "What makes 'The Odd Couple' so funny is that it's so true," said Paul Zimmerman. "Everything is something we see in ourselves or somebody we know. Neil Simon can take something and make it very funny and very poignant at the same time."

Mr. Zimmerman is assistant director for the Carroll Players' fall production of the female version of "The Odd Couple," Neil Simon's story of a slob and a neatnik who share an apartment after their marriages fall apart.

The dinner theater will be presented today, tomorrow and Oct. 21-23 and 27-28 at Frock's Sunnybrook Farm on Bond Street, Westminster. The doors open at 5:45 p.m. for all performances except Oct. 23, which is a 12:30 p.m. matinee. Tickets are $20 for all shows except Oct. 23 and 27, when prices are $18.

Although the premise of the original Felix and Oscar story is the same, Mr. Simon changed the lines in his female version.

"I volunteered to be director because I liked the script," said Rosanna Bryson. "I thought it was funnier than the male script."

With veteran actress Roberta Rooney as the slob Olive and Sharon Templeton as the ever-tidy Florence, the story is brought to hilarious life as opposite lifestyles clash.

The two are backed up by their Trivial Pursuit partners Sylvie, Mickey, Renee and Vera, played, respectively, by Sharon Myers, Lisa Biddle, Joan Jones and Hilda Uhlig.

Adding to the hilarity are "two hot-blooded Spaniard brothers from upstairs who are invited down with great expectation," said Mr. Zimmerman, who plays Jesus Costazuela. Alan Zepp portrays his brother, Manolo.

The secondary characters bring their own idiosyncrasies to the story.

"Renee is a straight person with a sarcastic side and plays off of Sylvie," said Ms. Jones. "I'm kind of worrisome -- I try to take care of people, I worry about Flo."

Then there's Vera, an older retired woman whose remarks confirm that she's not totally aware of what's happening.

"For some reason or other they were kind to her and invited her to play with them," Ms. Uhlig said. "Vera's not very bright, she's naive and a lot of it goes right over her head."

Which is the opposite of Sylvie, who likes to know who's doing what rather than how fluffy someone's towels are.

"Sylvie's a smart aleck, she's impatient, she doesn't like housework, but she likes to talk," Ms. Myers said.

All this occurs around the two main characters trying to put their lives back together under less-than-ideal conditions.

"The whole cast is really melded together, they really work well together," Mr. Zimmerman said. "We've got a nice blend of veterans and newcomers onstage."

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