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Review: ‘The Odd Couple’ at Vagabond Players

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Awakening spring with rollicking laughter, the Vagabond Players revive Neil Simon’s Tony Award-winning, classic comedic The Odd Couple, recreating the brilliant magic and pandemonium of the beloved 1960s iconic masterpiece.

Rear: Don Kammann, Mark Scharf, Tony Colavito, and Thom Peters. Front: Rachel Roth, Eric C. Stein, Larry Malkus, and Anne Shoemaker. Photo by Tom Lauer.

Seamlessly adapted by 30-year veteran director Steven Goldklang, the play’s premise centers around two mismatched, middle-aged best friends, obsessively neat Felix (Eric C. Stein) and free-spiritedly sloppy Oscar (Larry Malkus), who attempt to share an apartment (fastidiously set/designed by Roy Steinman and constructed by Moe Conn and Jay Demarco) after splitting up with their wives, unconventionally navigating their way through divorce and bachelorhood together.

Stein and Malkus were both remarkably convincing in their respective roles, bringing the timeless couple to life with pronounced energy, outstanding comedic timing and natural chemistry (their rapid-fire interplay during the double date dinner preparation scene was especially enjoyable to watch).

Likewise, the assorted quartet of weekly poker-playing pals (Tony Colavito, Don Kammann, Mark Scharf, and Thom Peters) proficiently embodied the wide-ranging personas of era, providing many amusing moments of spats and frictions.

Eric C. Stein, Rachel Roth, Anne Shoemaker, and Larry Malkus. Photo by Tom Lauer.

Rounding out the terrific cast were Rachel Roth and Anne Shoemaker as the giggly, fun-loving Pigeon sisters who add a colorful chirpiness and high-spiritedness in the second half of the three-act production.

Breathing new life on a classic tale isn’t an easy undertaking but The Vagabond Players’ revival of The Odd Couple sparkles and delights with an enhanced perspective on the enduring comedy.

Running Time: Approximately two hours and 20 minutes, with one 15-minute intermission. 

The Odd Couple plays through May 7, 2017, at the Vagabond Players – 806 Broadway, in Baltimore, MD. For tickets, purchase them online.

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One Response to Review: ‘The Odd Couple’ at Vagabond Players

  1. Nan Rosenthal April 11, 2017 at 11:23 am #

    Dear Gina,

    Your review of The Odd Couple at Vagabonds was spot on. It was one of the best local theatre productions I’ve seen this year.

    I am telling all my contacts to treat themselves to a wonderful evening or afternoon buy tix and go see The Odd Couple at VAGS.

    In these days of unsettled times, is a relief to see this wonderful cast enjoy themselves and work so well as an ensemble.
    APPLAUSE to them and BOUQUETS to Director Steve Goldklang.!!!