Final Performance of The Odd Couple at RVP — Hilarious!

There was nothing “Odd” about the hilarity of the closing performance of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple!

What we’ve come to know about the Ross Valley Playhouse is its consistently outstanding entertainment! And this was no exception!

Directors Mike Reynolds and Jay Krohnengold knew exactly how to bring out the characters played by this outstanding cast, and the success of the show relied heavily on their ability to make the most use out of props and finely tuned (chaotic) action bits (such as the slapstick fight scene choreographed by Richard Squeri), the exploding bag full of potato chips and just the thought of the linguini apparently thrown on the wall in the kitchen in a fit of rage).

Hysterical (disheveled and depressed) Felix was flawlessly played by David Boyll. Oscar was alternately sensitive toward and frustrated with Felix and otherwise hilariously played by Russ Whismore.

  • He and Felix are separated from their wives, and we can see (and understand) why!

Vinnie, one of the card-players, was well-performed by Patrick Barr.

Speed was solidly characterized as the bawdy yet caring friend/card-player by Jill Wagoner.

Gwendolyn was absolutely hilarious, as played by Jayme Catalano.

Cecily was also very funny, as played well by Crystal Wilson.

Murray, the accountant, was played well by Philip Goleman.

Roy (Frederick Lein), the good cop, played his cards with just the right intensity.

The 1965 set was perfectly designed by Ron Krempetz and exceptionally well-constructed by Michael Walraven. Scenic Artist and Prop Designer Dhyanis Carniglia did a fabulous job making the apartment appropriately trashed with beer bottles on the floor, clothes and towels hanging everywhere but in the closets or on towel racks; books strewn on the floor instead of placed neatly in the bookcase; dead plants; and ashtrays full of cigarette butts!

The costumes, as carefully selected by Michael A. Berg, were exactly as one could remember the fashions for 1965. The Lighting Design by Frank Sarubbi was so smoothly operated and changed, as needed, for every scene that we weren’t distracted in the least as the changes were performed.  On the one hand, the music Sound Design by Bruce Viera was expertly selected and modulated; on the other hand, the dialogue was often difficult to hear, such that the action spoke louder than the words – either because of stage-microphone amplifier difficulties or furniture staged in dead zones.

Kudos to All – this performance was the brilliant finale of the collaboration among the directors, actors, and production team.

By Elle Alexa Simon on behalf of
Flora Lynn Isaacson, Critic, San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle

Coming up next at RVP: Death Trap by Ira Levin and Directed by Chloe Bronzan, January 18 through February 17, 2019.

For more information about upcoming performances, go online to www.rossvalleyplayers.com or call 800/838-9555.  Tickets for School Groups, call 415/456-9555 extension 3.  All performances take place at The Barn, home of the Ross Valley Players, Marin Art and Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross.