Red Barn to present classic Neil Simon comedy


Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple” debuted on Broadway in 1965 with Art Carney as neat freak Felix Ungar and Walter Matthau as sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison.

That was followed by the movie with Jack Lemmon (Felix) and Matthau reprising his role, then the TV show with Tony Randall (Felix) and Jack Klugman (Oscar). Since then, it’s had several variations, including females in the lead roles.

Now, Red Barn Summer Theatre, 2120 E. County Line Rd., Frankfort, will take its turn presenting the classic comedy from June 23 to July 3.

“I’m almost positive this is the first time we’ve done it at the Barn,” said Red Barn Artistic Director Michael Taylor, who will direct the show.

The play tells the story of friends who bicker after Felix’s wife throws him out of the house and he comes to live with Oscar.

Luke McLaughlin is cast as Oscar and Aaron Moon portrays Felix.

Taylor is directing rehearsals for “The Odd Couple” during the day and directed “Who’s in Bed with the Butler?” at night. That show was scheduled to conclude June 20.

“It’s one of those shows that kind of went through a phase where everybody was doing it,” Taylor said. “Over the last few years, it’s dropped off. The female version seems to get done more often these days. I think that’s because there are so many female actresses out there. It’s sat dormant around this area, and this gave us the opportunity to finally do it.

“The Odd Couple” features a cast of seven.

“The cast is excited to do it because it’s a great work,” Taylor said. “Our first show this season is more slapstick comedy. (‘The Odd Couple’) has more of a realistic feel, so they like playing the more honest characters.”

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