Women make an `Odd Couple'


November 26, 2006|By Joseph Zelenak | Joseph Zelenak,special to the sun

Personalities clash, tempers run high, and the dinner is burnt. No, this is not a description of a Thanksgiving gone bad, but Centennial High School's production of The Odd Couple.

The beloved tale of Felix and Oscar was masterfully adapted into a female version by Neil Simon, as the story follows two women, Florence Unger and Olive Madison.

When she is kicked out by her husband, Florence arrives at Olive's door; 14 years of marriage end while the kids are at summer camp.

Neat freak

Olive takes Florence in, promising to help her. However, Florence, an obsessive-compulsive neat freak with a tendency to injury, quickly clashes with the sloppy and strong-willed Olive.

As each one's quirks and habits annoy the other, tempers flair and hilarity ensues.

In Centennial's production, Marcy Coburn and Ali Grusell put in fine work as Florence Unger and Olive Madison, respectively.

Marcy's Florence is a hilarious bundle of exaggerated expressions, continuous fiddlings and tidyings up - the very embodiment of compulsive pyschosis.


The sarcasm of Ali's Olive kept the humor in the part, even while she was in agitated conflict with Florence.

The pair contrasted each other with skill, and their comedic timing was impeccable. They lit up the stage and made for an enjoyable experience.

Witnessing the strife between Florence and Olive were their friends, portrayed by Bess Thoreson, Alison Talvacchio, Casi Collins and Brooke Austin.

Each actress crafted a unique character. The timing was great, and it felt as if actors had been friends for a long time.

With all the women, who could forget the only two men: Tom McQuaid and Andy Hurst? Playing the Spanish neighbors from upstairs, Jesus and Manolo Costazuela, Tom and Andy were terrific as both suave gentleman and naive foreigners who did not speak fluent English.

Technical crew

The technical crew did a sufficient job. Sound and lighting were adequate, but not impressive.

The stage crew was efficient, pulling off big scene changes in the space of one song.

They helped keep the energy and pacing of the show.

The Odd Couple was an extraordinary production of which Centennial can be proud.

Joseph Zelenak, a student at Atholton High School, reviewed "The Odd Couple Lace" for the Cappies of Baltimore, a program in which students review high school productions under the direction of their teachers and vote on awards for outstanding performances.

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