Mountain Community Theater Odd Couple
Mountain Community Theater’s “Oscar and Felix” and “The Odd Couple: Female Version” at Park Hall in Ben Lomond. (Contributed)

If you grew up in the ’70s, the names Oscar and Felix are synonymous with uproarious laughter. From the 1965 Broadway hit to the 1968 film to the television series that ran for five years in the early ’70s, the madcap story of two divorced men has stood the test of time.

Now, playwright Neil Simon has brought his beloved characters back to life with a revisited version of the classic story, and the good folks at Mountain Community Theater (MCT) are excited to present this updated take with two new adaptations.

“Oscar and Felix” is based on the original story of Oscar Madison and Felix Unger, two divorcées who find themselves thrown together in a New York apartment as they navigate life after marriage. Played by Ian Dyer (Madison) and Jeff Dinnell (Unger), the dramedy exposes the tension that comes with Oscar’s freewheeling ways and Felix’s uptight approach to life. Add in a few rounds of poker with friends and a visit from their upstairs neighbors, the Costazuela sisters, and you’ve got a performance with great pacing and lots of laughs.

Running in repertoire with “Oscar and Felix” is “The Odd Couple: Female Version,” also written by Simon. This reimagined play finds Olive Madison (Allie Bailey) and Florence Unger (Shireen Doyle) playing a few rounds of Trivial Pursuit with their dear friends, only to have their Spanish neighbors, Manolo and Jesus, arrive to inject some laughter and craziness into the game. Based on the original Odd Couple, the story is brought to life with a phalanx of feminine energy that rocks the stage.

While the original sitcom received three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, these updated plays were copyrighted in 2004, allowing for some contemporary takes on life. For the MCT casts, it’s a great way to reintroduce characters that infuse the heart, compassion and comedy the television show was known for.

“The entire cast brings ecstatic energy, humor and integrity to Neil Simon’s work,” said Ana Bogren, assistant stage manager for “Oscar and Felix.” “The Costazuela sisters are not to be missed!”

Jackson Wolffe, who plays card shark Roy in “Oscar and Felix,” believes the revised plays are a different slice of the original Odd Couple.

“It’s truly a fresh and interesting perspective,” Wolffe said.

Scott Kravitz, who plays Vinnie in the male-dominated cast, said, “Having grown up in New York, Oscar and Felix were two grownups I could easily relate to. My best friend and I watched and laughed through every episode. It’s been a while since I’ve spent time with Oscar and Felix and it’s been great to watch these skilled actors bring them both to life with new nuances and discoveries. Even as fellow actors it’s hard to watch each other’s scenes and not collapse with laughter. I think this will be an MCT show that people will talk about for a long time.”

Shireen Doyle, an MCT veteran, plays Florence Unger in the female production. 

“Florence is such a fun role to tackle because her personality is all about extremes,” Doyle said. “She is very compulsive, a neat freak, a bit of a hypochondriac and impossible to live with, yet her friends still care about her and look out for her. I lost count of how many times Florence gets injured in the show. She is always trying to put up a polished facade, but finally can’t hold it together without a lot of help from her friends.”

Simon Hayward, director of the female version of “The Odd Couple,” said, “This play has six great female roles. It’s been wonderful to bring this production to the stage with a talented and fun group, including a couple of very funny Spanish men as well.”

If you’re looking for some laughs, go see Mountain Community Theater’s “Oscar and Felix” and “The Odd Couple: Female Version” at Park Hall in Ben Lomond. The two productions are in repertoire, with “Oscar and Felix” playing March 23, 24, 29 and 30 and April 6, 7,12 and 13, and “The Odd Couple: Female Version” playing March 22, 23, 30 and 31 and April 5, 6, 13 and 14. Talk back performances for the female version is on Saturday, April 6; for the male version, it’s Sunday, April 7. Tickets are available at

Previous articleNews Briefs | Published March 15, 2024
Next articleHitchcock Festival delivers an unforgettable experience for second year
Christina Wise covers politics, education, art & culture, and housing issues. She has a degree in Communication from San Diego State University, and has lived in the San Lorenzo Valley since 1996. She's a community advocate and a mother of two.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here