An Odd Take on the Odd Couple

Taylor Kuether, photos by Elizabeth Schultz

Menomonie Theater Guild is putting on a rendition of The Odd Couple … with a female cast. “I think that there’s still this sort of mistaken idea and assumption out there that men are funnier or better at comedy,” said Blaine Halverson, executive director of MTG. “This cast will undoubtedly prove to our audience that our ladies have comedy chops that are every bit as strong as their male counterparts.” The show, Neil Simon’s female version of his classic Broadway play, features roommates Florence Unger and Olive Madison surrounded by their cast of Trivial Pursuit-playing gal pals. Aside from names, the play remains largely unchanged. “It’s bawdier, but maybe just because it’s a female cast,” said Barbara Cloutier, who plays Olive. “Granted, this is Neil Simon’s version of what women say and do, but we’ve had a lot of fun bringing these mouthy, blunt, and colorful women to life.” Said characters have developed offstage friendships, as well. “We have all become friends and that is the lasting thing about this show,” said Donell Kjetland, who plays Florence. “It goes beyond an onstage friendship and reaches into our everyday lives … that is an awesome thing.” The Odd Couple will be performed April 27-28 and May 4-6 at Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts in Menomonie. Call 235-0001 for tickets.

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