A 10-performance run of “The Odd Couple” opens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse, 1235 E. Lauridsen Blvd., in Port Angeles. Seen here are cast members Jennifer Hawley, from left, Debbie Bourquin, Ken Winters, Janet Lucas, Lynne Murphy, Joe Schulz, Stephanie Gooch and Nancy Gooch. (Robert Bronsink)

A 10-performance run of “The Odd Couple” opens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse, 1235 E. Lauridsen Blvd., in Port Angeles. Seen here are cast members Jennifer Hawley, from left, Debbie Bourquin, Ken Winters, Janet Lucas, Lynne Murphy, Joe Schulz, Stephanie Gooch and Nancy Gooch. (Robert Bronsink)

Opposites collide in play: The Port Angeles Community Players begin “The Odd Couple” next week

PORT ANGELES — Sparks will fly when a fastidious neat freak moves in with a slovenly woman on the Port Angeles Community Playhouse stage.

Florence Ungar, portrayed by Janet Lucas, and Olive Madison, portrayed by Lynne Murphy, square off in the female version of “The Odd Couple” written by Neil Simon.

The 10 performance run of the play opens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse (PACP), 1235 E. Lauridsen Blvd., in Port Angeles.

It will continue at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Dec. 2-3, Dec. 6 and Dec. 8- 10. Afternoon showings will be at 2 p.m. Dec. 4 and Dec. 11.

Tickets for evening performances are $15 for reserved seating or $8 at the door for festival seating, excepting the Dec. 8 performance which is sold out.

Tickets for the Sunday afternoon performances are $15 for reserved seating and $8 for students.

Tickets are available online at www.pa communityplayers.com.

The play, which premiered on Broadway in 1965 with two males cast as the lead characters, was revised by Simon in 1985 based on the same story line and same lead characters, albeit with new names.

Olive and Florence

In the female version, Oscar becomes Olive while Felix becomes Florence.

“The story by itself is not much different from an original male version,” said Dmitri Gerasimenko, who is directing the PACP run of “The Odd Couple.”

“Neil Simon kept the best from [the] original story, edited it and, as the result, we got [a] super play for six female and two male actors. We have experienced actors who had dozens of roles in this theater and we have the beginners, who have never been on the stage before.”

The cast consists of Debbie Bourquin as Sylvie; Stephanie Gooch as Mickey; Nancy Gooch as Vera; Jenifer Hawley as Renee; Joe Schulz as Manolo Costazuela; and Ken Winters as Jesus Costazuela.

The set was created with the help of Marina Shipova and Ross Kavanaugh, with all costumes designed by Barbara Comer.

The PACP production originally was planned to be the male version, said Barb Frederick, PACP publicity coordinator.

“When we choose plays for a season we look at many factors, one of them is if we have the actors needed to fill the roles, but we are never completely sure,” she said.

“This time we just didn’t have the available men, but we had a number of women who were interested so the logical thing to do was to change the play.”

Said Gerasimenko: “Life made [a] small correction, and now we are presenting the story of two women trying to work out their differences.”

Complete opposites

In the play, Ungar moves in with Madison — her complete opposite. Despite Madison’s problems – careless spending, excessive gambling, a poorly kept house filled with spoiled food – she seems to enjoy life.

Ungar, however, seems utterly incapable of enjoying anything and only finds purpose in pointing out her own and other’s shortcomings. Even when she tries to do so in a gentle and constructive way, Ungar’s corrections and suggestions prove extremely annoying to those around her.

Madison, Ungar’s closest friend, feels compelled to throw her out after only a brief time together, though she quickly realizes that Ungar has had a positive effect on her.

Gerasimenko said he and his cast have enjoyed rehearsing for the play, a comedy.

“Certainly, comedy has some rules which are very different from tragedy or drama,” he said.

“I guess, that we have plenty of dramas and even tragedies in our reality — especially lately — so this comedy gives us a chance to have an extra shot of laughter.”

‘Happy endings’

Comedies, Gerasimenko continued, “have the happy endings, so the whole process to this end is lighter — I wouldn’t say easier — than in drama or tragedy. It is easier to rehearse when you know that everyone will survive and all will be well.”

Gerasimenko is a recent transplant to Port Angeles, having been raised in Russia and moving to Minnesota in 1998.

He holds a master’s degree in theatre from the Russia State Theatre Academy in Saint Petersburg and worked as a professional actor for about 10 years before moving to the United States, he said.

In Minnesota, Gerasimenko said he founded Dances on High Theatre where he directed many plays in English and Russian.

Gerasimenko and his wife, Jan Adams, moved to Port Angeles full time about one year ago, he said, adding he became involved with PACP.

“I was amazed by this charming theatre — Port Angeles Community Players — which desperately needs sponsors and volunteers,” he said.

“In Playhouse, I met many [talented], dedicated people who love theatre, care about this form of art and [are] open for new experiences.”

Last spring, Gerasimenko directed two one-act comedies by Anton Chekhov.

“That project was supported in the great way by the community and PACP staff,” he said.

“I wish some of the companies I worked with could have the level of expertise and professionalism as [the] PACP team.”

For more information, visit www.pacommunity players.com.

________

Features Editor Chris McDaniel can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

Florence Ungar, portrayed by Janet Lucas, left, and Olive Madison, portrayed by Lynne Murphy, right, on Tuesday will square off in the female version of “The Odd Couple” written by Neil Simon. (Robert Bronsink)

Florence Ungar, portrayed by Janet Lucas, left, and Olive Madison, portrayed by Lynne Murphy, right, on Tuesday will square off in the female version of “The Odd Couple” written by Neil Simon. (Robert Bronsink)

Florence Ungar, portrayed by Janet Lucas, standing at right, and Olive Madison, portrayed by Lynne Murphy, standing at left, squabble during a rehearsal of “The Odd Couple.” (Robert Bronsink)

Florence Ungar, portrayed by Janet Lucas, standing at right, and Olive Madison, portrayed by Lynne Murphy, standing at left, squabble during a rehearsal of “The Odd Couple.” (Robert Bronsink)

More in Entertainment

"Seahorse," by Pat Herkal is among the textile artworks on display at the Northwind Art Grover Gallery.
Undersea exhibit showcases textile arts

Textile artists’ varied views of the Salish Sea are… Continue reading

North Olympic Library System scheduled book discussions for April

The North Olympic Library System will continue online book… Continue reading

NAY-Geologylecture-PHOTO-PDN-210406

CAPTION: Trevor Contreras will address the Quimper Geological Society on Saturday
Geology, carving lecture slated in Port Townsend

Trevor Contreras will present “The Geology and Art of… Continue reading

Port Townsend Marine Science Center Executive Director Janine Boire plans to welcome the public back to the center starting Saturday at the Fort Worden-based aquarium. The center will be open Saturdays and Sundays with reservations beginning this weekend. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)
Port Townsend Marine Science Center partially reopens

Weekend visits will require reservations for on-site visitors

Ballet Victoria — whose dancers have included Julia Jones Whitehead and Tymin McKeown, seen in 2019 — is among the dozens of performing ensembles to appear in the 2021 Juan de Fuca Festival, a blend of in-person and virtual shows May 28-31. Passes for the virtual festival are on sale now. Tickets for in-person shows will be available later this month. For information about the festival and its COVID-19 safety protocols, see JFFA.org under the Festival menu; the Juan de Fuca Foundation office phone is 360-457-5411. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Festival passes on sale

whose dancers have included Julia Jones Whitehead and Tymin… Continue reading

Clarinetist Jonathan Doyle, complete with an aerosol-masking instrument cover, jazzed up the Haller Fountain in downtown Port Townsend in the first “Buskers on the Block” gig. The series will showcase local musicians Thursdays and Saturdays through May. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Free music series has begun in Port Townsend

Buskers scheduled through May in Main Street program

Friends of the Sequim Library to hold book sale

The Friends of the Sequim Library will… Continue reading

“Passing Cloud,” by Sydni Sterling, is featured in Artist Showcase 2021.
Twenty-one artists featured in Artist Showcase 2021

Northwind Art presents Artist Showcase 2021, the gallery’s first… Continue reading

Most Read