Corinth Holders High School students to present ‘The Odd Couple’ this month

sgilman@newsobserver.comApril 21, 2014 

“I can’t take it anymore! I’ve had it up to here!” Dominic Eannarino shouted, throwing his cards down.

He had said it in his best Brooklyn accent, but co-director Don Johnson stopped him. “I’ve had it up to where?” he bellowed from his chair in the Corinth Holders High School auditorium. He told Eannarino to gesture bigger, say it louder.

Eannarino plays the character Speed in Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” which the high school’s theater group, the Pirate Players, will perform at 7 p.m. April 25-26 in the auditorium. The cast of eight has been rehearsing for weeks and even met durings spring break.

Johnson, a theater veteran, has been teaching cast members the elements of good acting such as vocal projection and stage presence.

Director Kathi Nixon chose the play for the drama department because, she said, “it’s one of (her) favorites.”

“The Odd Couple” is a story about the ultimate personality clash: After he gets kicked out of his house by his wife, the obsessively tidy newswriter Felix Ungar moves in with his slovenly friend, sportswriter Oscar Madison.

“The whole thing takes place in Oscar’s apartment,” Nixon said. Tall wooden panels, painted white, serve as a backdrop. A table, chairs and park bench complete the simple set.

Ungar’s tense obsession with tidiness, health and rule-following aggravates Madison and his friends, who sit around playing poker while Ungar makes them food but picks at their habits. He even makes sure they use coasters for their drinks. Madison, a divorced gambler and spendthrift whose place is a wreck and whose refrigerator is filled with spoiled food, is especially annoyed and considers throwing his friend out.

“The Odd Couple” debuted on Broadway in 1965, winning a Tony Award for Simon. It later became a 1968 film and 1970s television series. Many other versions have been produced in the years since, and in 1985, Simon wrote “The Female Odd Couple.”

Simon has received more Oscar and Tony award nominations than any other writer. “The Odd Couple” helped launched him into the spotlight of fame. He lives today in the Bronx, New York.

Tickets are $5 at the door. For more information, call the school at 919-365-4306.

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