“What Neil Simon does incredibly well, possibly better than any other American playwright, is how he writes fully realized relationships,” explains Jocelyn Adamski, director of The Odd Couple – Female Version opening January 26, at STC Theater in St. Charles, IL.
STC Theater is a new performing arts organization that is already making a mark in the western suburbs of Chicago for its adherence to quality and dedication to picking shows that will resonate with audiences.
For the first show of the 2023 season, the company’s artistic director Tara Frost selected The Odd Couple – The Female Version as an opportunity to shine a light on an often-underappreciated section of talent in Chicago’s vibrant theater scene.
“I chose the female version of The Odd Couple because I am very interested in showcasing female talent,” explains Frost. “I’m also thrilled to have a very talented female director on board in Jocelyn Adamski.”
“Beyond that, I also wanted to provide a light, entertaining show in the dark winter months and there are few playwrights with better charms of that persuasion than Neil Simon,” adds Frost. “As a theater company that is a part of the St. Charles community, we owe it to our friends and neighbors to put on quality entertainment that adds value in the form of smiles, thoughts, and dreams.”
Bringing a light to the hearts of theatergoers is exactly what The Odd Couple – Female Version promises to deliver. The show has a legacy of electrifying audiences.
Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple premiered on Broadway in 1965. The plot involves two friends, one uptight and an obsessive cleaner (Felix) and the other more slovenly and carefree (Oscar). The two become mismatched roommates and their differences translate into epic comedy. At times they clash, but in the end their relationship strengthens.
With it’s focus on relationships, the show was a hit winning multiple Tony awards. It also easily translated into a hugely popular film starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau that earned Simon an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. It also evolved into a highly rated television series in the 1970s, as well as a few reboots – most recently one starring Matthew Perry.
In 1985, Simon adapted his beloved audience favorite, hit play The Odd Couple to feature female lead characters. The result – The Odd Couple – Female Version – premiered on Broadway with Sally Struthers playing Florence and Rita Moreno playing Olive, female versions of the famous mismatched roommates.
“My vision for the show was to focus on the relationships,” explains Adamski of her concept for bringing Neil Simon’s trademark humor to theater lovers from St. Charles and the surrounding communities. “We are showcasing the love between these characters, to see and feel the care underneath the complaint.”
Bringing the two central characters to life in the STC Theater production are Ann Marie Nordby of Arlington Heights as uptight Florence and Tammy White of Woodridge as slovenly Olive. Both are very accomplished actresses.
“I’m incredibly excited to have these two extremely seasoned and fantastic actresses playing leads,” notes Adamski. “These women are really going to knock it out of the park. The audience will not only see the humor of the piece, but they will really grow to care for and experience the lifetime of love between these women.”
The director is equally proud of the rest of the cast and emphasizes the importance of the ensemble for the success of the show. Rounding out the cast are Andrew Buel of Montgomery, Maddi LeBlanc of St. Charles, Lydia Moore of Plainfield, Gabrielle Nelson of Naperville, and Devon Ortiz and Vickie Poole of Aurora.
“From the first rehearsal, their chemistry and comedic timing together was inspired,” says Adamski. “I feel very fortunate to have an incredibly strong ensemble from top to bottom. This cast is really bringing the humor, the chemistry, the excitement and warmth to their roles. They will leave you in stiches.”
The Odd Couple – Female Version is expected to be a true crowd pleaser when it opens at the end January. As the artistic director, Frost selected the show as a part of an overall vision for the 2023 STC Theater season to connect to the local community.
“We have an intimate space, so shows like The Odd Couple – Female Version fit our venue perfectly,” reflects Frost. “Being a new theater, we are focused on producing shows this season that audiences are familiar with. It’s our open invitation to everyone and anyone to come experience something new – a true celebration of the arts in a way that really entertains.”
In fact, STC Theater produces both mainstage production and children’s productions. Next up will be the Tony-winning family-friendly Matilda The Musical based on the twisted genius of Roald Dahl about a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers.
But first, audiences should make their ticket purchases to enjoy Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple – Female Version.
The production runs Thursdays through Sundays, opening January 26 and running through February 4. STC Theater is located at 3755 E. Main Street, Suite 158 in St. Charles. Full production dates are: Thursday Jan. 26 (7:30 PM), Friday Jan. 27 (8 PM), Saturday Jan. 28 (8 PM), Sunday Jan. 29 (4 PM), Thursday Feb. 2 (7:30 PM), Friday Feb. 3 (8 PM), and Saturday Feb 4 (2 PM & 8 PM).
Tickets are only $22, making an evening or afternoon at the theater a fun and affordable alternative to the dark days of winter. And, a visit to STC Theater is a great way to support the local performing arts community.
To purchase tickets go to: https://bit.ly/3jqnJvz or follow the link from the STC Theatre homepage at www.stctheater.com.