An evening with “The Odd Couple”

Rialto Theater at 228 East 4th Street in Loveland, Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

There are so many opportunities to enjoy live theater in Northern Colorado and the season is in full swing. If you haven’t been to the theater lately it’s time to go.

We went out to see “The Odd Couple” at The Rialto Theater on Friday evening. Located in the heart of downtown Loveland, The Rialto is a great place to catch a show. The theater is a throwback to a different era and this ambiance worked well for Neil Simon’s 46-year-old play.

The play was adapted for the big and small screen, and the storyline is well known to most people. I was not one of those people, and Friday night was my first introduction to “The Odd Couple.”

The crowd was small on opening night, but the audience seemed connected to the material, and as the play unfolded so did the laughter. In fact, the couple sitting behind us seemed to know the play quite well and would often start laughing in anticipation of the punch line.

“The Odd Couple” is the story of two male divorcees who become roommates. Oscar and Felix are opposites in nearly all ways. Laid back and sloppy, Oscar is a sports writer who likes to have a good time. Felix is an uptight, penny-pinching clean freak. Their opposite natures become the fodder for the plays humorous moments.

The play was well acted and I especially enjoyed Brien Fletcher as Felix Ungar. Fletcher’s ability to perform excellent physical comedy resulted in more than a few laughing fits from me.

Overall “The Odd Couple” went smoothly and the audience seemed pleased. One strange thing about this adaptation was slight confusion about the time period in which the story was taking place. While there are prop ashtrays on stage and references to smoking in the script, no one in the play smokes. While Oscar Madison uses slang that seems decades old, we find out that Felix works for FOX, launched in 1996. These cultural incongruities took me out of the play several times.

Moon Theatre Co. is producing “The Odd Couple.” Relatively new to the Northern Colorado theater scene, the company was formed by a group of actors, writers and directors who are passionate about live entertainment. The company’s goal is to create performance opportunities for like-minded individuals in Northern Colorado and entertainment opportunities for the general public.

The company was excited to have the noted director Don Kraus come on board for “The Odd Couple.” Kraus has over 40 years of experience as a stage and film actor, director and writer.

“The Odd Couple” started Friday, January 14 and runs through Sunday, January 23. Tickets are $14 for adults and $13 for students and seniors. Visit The Rialto online here and visit Moon Theatre Co. here.

HeidiTown Tips: Make it a night on the town with dinner at one of Loveland’s downtown restaurants and drinks after the show at Henry’s Pub, next door to The Rialto.

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