A theater director and a radio personality walk onto a stage ... and become the classic character duo of Felix and Oscar in Fuse Productions’ staged reading of “The Odd Couple.”
“The Odd Couple,” written by Neil Simon, originally premiered in 1965 on Broadway, and it has since appeared on the big screen in a 1968 film adaptation, as well as other incarnations including a popular 1970s television series, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.
“It’s a mismatched buddy story,” said Richard Biever, Fuse's producing artistic director. “Two guys who have to come together, and they’re opposite personalities.”
Biever will be playing the role of Felix Ungar in the production, alongside local radio personality Jeff Brown as Oscar Madison.
In the show, Felix, the neurotic news writer, and Oscar, the slovenly sports writer, move in together after their own respective marital problems. They then proceed to grow comically loathsome of each other’s habits in their short time together.
The purpose of the production is to serve as a fundraiser for Friends of Fuse, which is a charitable organization that supports both Fuse Productions and Singing OnStage, Biever’s summer camp aimed at giving students professional musical theater training and performance experience.
“It was kind of a perfect storm,” Biever said. “To do it in order to raise funds for Friends of Fuse so that both of these organizations could keep doing good stuff, it all seemed like a good idea.”
This particular production is in the format of a staged reading, meaning there is minimal movement and the actors read from their scripts on stage.
The cast size remains at the original contingent of eight actors, although most of the play focuses exclusively on the leading lads, Felix and Oscar.
“What a perfect way to do this as a fundraiser, as a reading,” Biever said. “We can have fun with it, but not the pressure of a full production.”
If you go
What: Fuse Productions' "The Odd Couple"
When: 7:30 p.m. April 28
Where: Schwab Auditorium, University Park