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Perhaps one of the most celebrated American comedy plays of all times, The Odd Couple has been reproduced for stage numerous times. Not surprisingly, it did not take its fame much time to transcend boundaries and gain acknowledgement across the world. Theatre production houses have rendered the classic to give a more contemporary touch or to adapt it to the local culture. Moreover, the play has also been adapted into films and television series. There are a number of sequels and spin-offs of the play out there too and each one is marked by the hilarious chemistry between the protagonists. If you are in the mood to watch a cheerful show with your friends or your love interest, grab The Odd Couple tickets and you will be good to go.
The plot revolves around two middle-aged friends who live in the same house for a while. One of them is "Felix Ungar", an obsessively clean and overly critical news writer. When his wife throws him out of his house, he decides to go live with his dear friend "Oscar Madison", a rather carefree and messy bachelor. Soon, the contrast in their personalities becomes as a source of constant discord in the house as Felix attempts to ‘improve’ the way Oscar deals with household manners. The audience also meets Oscar’s friends who frequently gather at his place to play poker (Roy, Vinnie, Speed and Murray) and leave no stone unturned in pulling each other’s leg. A majority of the characters is male but the British sisters, who are Oscar’s neighbors, play a significant role in developing the theme of light-hearted romance.
An audience first enjoyed this simple yet enthralling storyline when the play premiered on Broadway in 1965. "Mike Nicholas" served as the director while "Art Carney" played Felix Ungar and "Walter Matthau" played Oscar Madison. The performance was eventually nominated for six Tony Awards, including one for "Best Picture". The diligent team managed to bag five awards: "Best Scenic Design", "Best Director", "Best Actor" and "Best Script". Having delivered nine hundred performances over the course of two years, the Broadway production closed in 1967. To date, the play has been revived almost uncountable times. It was also adapted into a film of the same name in 1968 and two sitcoms that ran from 1970 to 1975 and 1982 to 1983. However, the most famous revival was that which came from the playwright himself, who adapted the play into "The Female Odd Couple" in 1985. This version featured the same plot with different characters; the female and male roles in the original were interchanged.
The wit behind the acclaimed comedy belongs to "Neil Simon", a venerated name in the list of America’s finest literati. Simon was born and brought up in New York and so, he is fond of integrating nuisances of its distinct lifestyle in his plays. Discontent with his occupation as a corporal, Simon tilted towards the art. He started off by writing scripts of radio and television series along with his brother. In 1961, after working on it for three years, he managed to publish his first play titled “Come Blow Your Horn”. The first run on Broadway included nearly seven hundred performances. Encouraged by the positive response, he went on to write around thirty-five more plays and scripts for over fifty films and television series. His literary prowess and sharp sense of humor earned him a plethora of honors during his careers. He holds the distinction of having received the highest number of nominations for the Tony Award and the Oscar. In addition, he has also won several prestigious accolades such as the Emmy Award, Writers Guild of America Award, Drama Desk Award, Pulitzer Prize and the Mark Twain Award for "American Humor" amongst others. Most of these have been awarded to him because of his works, "The Odd Couple" and "Lost in Yonkers", both of which are hailed as his magnum opus.
Truly, Simon’s ability to create humor out of a simplistic scenario is remarkable. There is no exaggerated chaos, variety of settings or plethora of characters. Instead, there is a limited number of fully developed characters who are able to make the audience laugh its head off by their idiosyncrasies. More importantly, the honors garnered by the play speak volumes about its potential to entertainment. Hence, whether you are a theatre enthusiast or not, you would only be proud of your decision to buy The Odd Couple tickets.
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