Brooks Atkinson Theatre, (10/27/2005 - 6/04/2006)

First Preview: Oct 04, 2005
Opening Date: Oct 27, 2005
Closing Date: Jun 04, 2006
Total Previews: 28
Total Performances: 249

Category: Play, Comedy, Revival, Broadway
Setting: Oscar Madison's Riverside Drive apartment, 1965.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Nederlander Organization (James M. Nederlander: Chairman; James L. Nederlander: President)

Produced by Ira Pittelman, Jeffrey Sine, Ben Sprecher, Max Cooper, Scott Nederlander and Emanuel Azenberg; Associate Producer: Roy Furman and Jay Binder

Written by Neil Simon; Original Music: Marc Shaiman

Directed by Joe Mantello; Assistant Director: Lisa Leguillou

Scenic Design by John Lee Beatty; Costume Design by Ann Roth; Lighting Design by Kenneth Posner; Sound Design by Peter Fitzgerald; Hair Design by David Brian Brown; Associate Scenic Design: Eric Renschler; Assistant Scenic Design: Yoshi Tanokura; Assistant Costume Design: John Glaser; Associate Lighting Design: Philip Rosenberg; Associate Sound Design: Jill B.C. Du Boff

General Manager: Abbie M. Strassler; Company Manager: John E. Gendron

Production Stage Manager: William Joseph Barnes; Technical Supervisor: Brian Lynch and Neil A. Mazzella; Stage Manager: Jill Cordle

Casting: Bernard Telsey Casting, Inc.; Press Representative: Bill Evans & Associates; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Photographer: Carol Rosegg

Opening Night Cast

Matthew BroderickFelix Ungar
Nathan LaneOscar Madison
Rob BartlettSpeed
Olivia d'AboGwendolyn Pigeon
Peter FrechetteRoy
Brad GarrettMurray
(Oct 04, 2005 - Jan 01, 2006)
Jessica StoneCecily Pigeon
Lee WilkofVinnie

Understudies: Peter Frechette (Felix Ungar), Gene Gabriel (Murray, Oscar Madison, Roy, Speed, Vinnie), Marc Grapey (Felix Ungar, Murray, Roy, Speed, Vinnie) and Christy Pusz (Cecily Pigeon, Gwendolyn Pigeon)


AP: "Lane Shines in The Odd Couple"

Does anyone do a comic explosion better than Nathan Lane? Not likely. And the proof of Lane's combustible expertise can be found on stage at Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where the actor is erupting nightly as the perpetually sloppy Oscar Madison in a laugh-filled revival of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple."

Lane is the spark that drives this high-powered production, which also stars Matthew Broderick as the ultra-fastidious Felix Ungar, Oscar's mismatched roommate. The two performers, who cemented their professional partnership in a little something called "The Producers," have now honed their interplay into high comedic art.

Watch Lane as he starts with a low rumble of exasperation and gradually builds into a fury at Broderick's obsessive-compulsive antics. The face twitches, then reddens as the bellowing starts. But the actor is more than just loud. Lane knows how to land a laugh, and he gets every one that Simon has written in this saga of two divorced - or soon-to-be divorced - men trying to start new lives.

Broderick's fussy Felix is a close relative to his nerdy Leo Bloom in "The Producers." Like the lovelorn Leo, Felix is a romantic at heart. He still pines for his wife, Frances, even after she throws him out of the house. Broderick's physicality is perfect, capturing the man's considerable neuroses in every twitch and jerk.

The time wisely has not been updated. The year is still 1965, which is when "The Odd Couple" first opened on Broadway - with Walter Matthau as Oscar and Art Carney as Felix. Plays were more leisurely in those days, and this one does take its time. Originally, it was done in three acts, which director Joe Mantello has compacted into two.

If you look beyond the one-liners (and there are plenty of those), Simon has something to say about marriage or, at least, relationships. The relationship between Oscar and Felix is a marriage of sorts, with a honeymoon (well, at least a cordiality), bickering, tension and then outright warfare as the two men get to know each other.

Simon frames the play with several poker-playing scenes populated with cronies of the two men. Mantello has rounded up a quartet of superb character actors, each one a distinct physical type. The parade includes a towering Brad Garrett as Murray, a dimwitted good-guy policeman; the portly, henpecked Vinnie (Lee Wilkofs Mutt to Garrett's Jeff); Rob Bartlett's rumpled, grumpy Speed; and Peter Frechette's barking, chain-smoking Roy.

In Act 2, Simon introduces the Pigeon sisters, Gwendolyn and Cecily, the giggling British neighbors who live in Oscar's Riverside Drive apartment building. The women, portrayed with goofy, high-pitched charm by Olivia d'Abo and Jessica Stone, are lusted over by Oscar and won over by Felix.

Designer John Lee Beatty's sprawling set of Oscar's rambling Manhattan apartment gets a big laugh when it changes from Oscar-messy to Felix-immaculate.

This revival of "The Odd Couple" is a throwback to the days when Broadway still produced light, popular entertainment, a form that, even in 1965, was already being threatened by television comedy. "The Odd Couple" itself became a TV sitcom and its stars, Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, are probably better known for their portrayals of Oscar and Felix than the Broadway originals.

Yet Mantello and his cast have taken the comedy seriously and that's what makes it so funny.

And it doesn't matter what any critic thinks. The show is sold out through April 2, although standing-room tickets are available the day of performance. And if Lane and Broderick have a good time, who knows, they might extend the run. Let's hope so.


Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Brooks Atkinson Theatre

(10/27/2005 - 6/4/2006)
Stage Manager: Richard Costabile(Jan 31, 2006 - Jun 4, 2006); Production Stage Manager: Jill Cordle(Jan 31, 2006 - Jun 4, 2006).


Brad Garrett
filled in when Nathan Lane was sick
Oscar Madison (Jan 20, 2006 - Jan 22, 2006)
Mike Starr
Murray (Jan 3, 2006 - Jun 4, 2006)

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