From April 6-8, Red Mountain High School theater will be presenting two versions of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” The two versions of the play will swap the genders of the two leads, Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison in the male version and Florence Ungar and Olive Madison in the female version. The story line includes the characters deciding to move into an apartment together after Felix’s, or his counterpart, Florence’s recent divorce. Together, the two roommates slowly lapse into their old ways and begin to treat the other like their old spouse. The male version will be performed on April 7 at 7 p.m. and on April 8 at 2 p.m., while the female version is on April 6 and 8 at 7 p.m.
“I’ve never seen a cast with two different gender associations,” Red Mountain actor and junior Manuel Arias said. “It’s a brand new experience for me, but overall I think it’s going to be very interesting.
The actors in the play believe having two casts is different, yet challenging. Since there is only one director, getting notes or ideas is more difficult than usual.
“It’s nice if you can really focus in on one cast instead of two because then you have more minds that are thinking on it instead of jumping in between,” Red Mountain actor and junior Abbey Porter said. “What’s difficult for me is not having Mr. Erickson in the room to give us notes and advice.”
One goal of this production is to allow as many people to have a role as possible. Performing two versions of the play allows for more actors to become involved in the theater process.
“I directed ‘The Odd Couple’ 13 years ago, then I found out there was a female cast,” Red Mountain drama teacher Matt Erickson said. “I loved the idea of having a female cast because it opened up the production to more female actors, which allows for a more diverse cast.”
The price of admission is $6 at the bookstore or $8 at the door. For any questions about theater or their productions, talk to Erickson in Room 404.
– Evelyn Leiva is a student at Red Mountain High School in Mesa.