The Odd Couple | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Odd Couple


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Neil Simon's 1965 comedy about the postdivorce cohabitation of a neurotic neat freak and a hopeless slob holds up well enough to justify 40 years of revival. Most of the jokes still sing, and we can still relate to poker buddies, bitter ex-husbands, and giddy young women. However, even if you can manage to forget Jack Klugman and Tony Randall (TV series) and Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau (1968 film) in these roles--no easy feat--the play's success hinges on the dynamic between crusty, short-fused Oscar and high-strung, needy Felix. Mark Douglas-Jones delivers the latter while avoiding overly effeminate caricature, but Daniel Scott's Oscar lacks the crotchety explosiveness to be a suitable foil. Charlie Beck in the minor role of Speed demonstrates more Oscar-like tendencies in ten minutes than Scott does in his whole performance. Without these polar extremes, the dialogue falls flat. Through 3/13: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 3 and 7 PM, Sun 3 PM. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 Campbell, Arlington Heights, 847-577-2121. $27-$37.

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