Battle of females made for funny afternoon
May 1, 2006
Face it Florence, there’s more to being a female than waiting on other people,” was the message that Olive Madison was trying to get across to her poor friend, a compulsive homemaker, who had just been dumped by her husband of 14 years.
And Florence kind of “got it” in the end.
What led to her awakening was a funny 2-1/2 hour rendition of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple (Female Version),” presented by the Carson Valley Community Theatre at the CVIC Hall on Friday and Sunday. The play has three more performances later this month.
The lines are hilarious, even for this time period, since the female version was written for a 1980’s audience and the original comedy “The Odd Couple” was written in the 1960s.
“I’m afraid she’s going to sneak up behind us and shampoo our hair,” said Carolyn Lancaster, portraying Sylvie, during a scene where a group of women struggled to play their weekly Trivial Pursuit game, with Florence Unger (Maggie Allen) running around cleaning up after their every move.
Unger breaks into the sinus clearing sound that was made familiar by her male counterpart, Felix Unger in the original “The Odd Couple.”
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Later, when Olive Madison (Margaret Edson) sets up a date with the Constanzuela brothers, Manolo and Jesus, played by Bil Luckey, and Rob Richardson, also the director, Madison said, “This is a date about fighting for a woman’s honor, and making sure we lose.”
This is Allen’s second performance ever, but it appears Carson Valley has a natural on its hands. Such as, when Madison spells out Jesus’ name, “J-E-S-U-S,” Unger asks, “Jesus?” (big pause while audience laughs) “His name is Jesus?”; Allen showed comedic timing beyond amateur ability.
Madison responded with “It’s a different Jesus, for God’s sake!”
Several other actors, including Edson and Lancaster, gave performances worthy of their extensive theatrical experience.
The actors catered to an audience of 160 on Sunday, composed mostly of members of various local Red Hat groups.
“Be independent. Join a Red Hat group,” Madison told Unger during a scene.
Later, Madison walked on the stage, apparently after a Red Hat meeting, since she was wearing the traditional red and purple outfit.
“I feel beautiful. I feel glamorous. I feel like “sex in the city,” said Madison.
About 70 people attended Friday night’s performance in addition to the 160 on Sunday, and there will be three more performances of “The Odd Couple (Female Version)” this month: 8 p.m. May 19, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. May 20, and 2 p.m. May 21. Ticket prices are $12 in advance or $15 the day of the show. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Tumblewind Antiques & Collectibles or Barone & Reed Food Co., both on Esmeralda Avenue in downtown Minden. Tickets may be purchased by cash or check during business hours. Tickets can also be purchased by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 781-3107.
Carson Valley Community Theatre is a non-profit organization and donations to the group are welcomed. To make a donation: send check payable to CVCT, Inc., P.O. Box 654, Minden, NV 89423.
n Jo Rafferty can be reached at email@example.com or 782-5121, ext. 210.