March 25, 2005

“The Odd Couple” is hilarious

By Paola Hornbuckle

For theatre goers that want to be charmed by Neil Simon’s quaint play “The Odd Couple” the female version, Chula Vista’s Onstage Playhouse won’t disappoint with their version of this classic. This entertaining version of the “Odd Couple” but with a female Olive instead of an Oscar, and a female Florence instead of a Felix demonstrates that the clash between sloppiness and neuroticism can just as easily amuse with female characters.

Kelly Lapczynski as Olive commanded the stage with her sheer presence and lofty voice. She seemed to channel Oscar into a perfect female version. Jo Dempsey as Florence was a believable and funny characterization of female hysterics, obsessive compulsive cleanliness, and hypochondria. The hilarious progression of misadventures of these two characters’ lives as they decide to live together after Florence is left by her unworthy husband is spiced up by the charming ensemble of supporting players.

Laurie Keitz, Kathryn Kelly, Lisa Moctezuma, and specially Gloria Rymsa were adorable as their group of Trivial Pursuit playing girlfriends. Their cocky New York street-wise ways and corny clothes were so realistic you could literally hear the downtown traffic and smell the hot dogs from the vendors through the window.

Last but not least, Joey Georges as Manolo and Rett Becker as Jesus added the perfect finale with their clueless Spaniard ways. As Olive and Florence battled over cleaning, spaghetti, and finally the two men, one knew that all would end well in the end.

If you want to see The Odd Couple directed by Jeffrey Gastauer, it is playing at Onstage Playhouse, 291 Third Avenue in downtown Chula Vista through April 9. Their hours are Thurs, Fri and Sat at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

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