If you're on West 47th Street in New York City this theater season, chances are good that you're there to see 'The Odd Couple' at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The current major production, which features Matthew Broderick as Felix Ungar and Nathan Lane as Oscar Madison, is a highlight of this theater season and a huge ticket-seller.
Directed by Joe Mantello this time around, 'The Odd Couple' is one of the most memorable plays written by Neil Simon. Since its Broadway debut in 1965 and its film representation in 1968, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, 'The Odd Couple' has served as the prototype for a host of buddy movies. Add in the television series, starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, and you can see how this play achieved iconic status.
The story revolves around the apartment of Oscar Madison, a slob whose poker nights include a neat freak named Felix Ungar. On this night, Felix didn't show up to play, and the poker buddies learn that Felix's wife has thrown him out. By the end of the poker game, Oscar takes pity on Felix and lets him move in. That's where the odd adventure begins.
While the genre may be predictable now, 40 years ago there was no prototype for 'The Odd Couple,' and Neil Simon's dialogue continues to be incredibly funny. With Broderick and Lane in the lead roles, the reviews have been uniformly positive, so you will be hard-pressed to find a better production of 'The Odd Couple.' That means you had better get your tickets now, before they're gone.
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