The Odd Couple Romp, Part 6

The girls, Diana and Leanne, came to yesterday's rehearsal of The Odd Couple off book, with more than a month to go before we open.  God bless them.  The boys are working hard at divesting themselves of the little blue script, often delivering entire segments without looking down.

What I love about this gang is that they are bringing new ideas and interesting choices to the process. I saw some great things from Chris last night; he plays Speed.  He has a natural talent that is perfectly suited to a Neil Simon comedy.  I'm grateful that he is doing this, despite having to get up so early to head off to work.

Tim Heggie, who played Jean Valjean in Les Mis last year, is doing a terrific job as Murray the cop.  He has this ability to slowly absorb the character and become someone completely different than the person we know and love as "Tim".  And while he has most recently been featured in quite dramatic roles, he is an outstanding comic actor, as you'll rediscover on May 14th when we open.

Roy the accountant is being played by Michael Beamish.  An actor who always gives 100-percent, Mike brings a wealth of experience to the stage.  A graduate of the Keyano Drama program, he then went on to the University of Lethbridge to earn his degree.  A director, writer, producer, and collaborator, it's great to see him back in a show.  You'll really enjoy his performance in The Odd Couple.

Jim Geary plays Vinnie.  Jim Geary IS Vinnie.  Having played this character several decades ago in Grande Prairie, Jim immediately slipped back into the skin of this delightful guy.  His acting instincts are phenomenal, which leads many of us to ask: "Where the hell have you been for the last 6 years?"  Jim works out at Northland Forest Products.  It was his boss who encouraged him to audition for The Odd Couple.  We are so glad he did.

Diana Cretu and Leanne Osmond play the Pigeon sisters.  They are fantastic.  I can't wait to see them in the dresses and hair styles of the period envisioned by designer Sharon Heading.  Quite honestly, they had a strong sense of the characters from the very beginning and just keep getting better and better.  Diana is a student at Keyano College, originally from Romania, and also President of the student association.  Leanne is a fabulous radio personality who can be heard every morning on CRUZ FM.

Dave Boutilier is playing Oscar.  He is working his tail off and sacrificing his body and vocal cords to deliver a powerful (and funny) performance.  The size of his voice is extraordinary, as is his ability to slip into the mid-60's style and accent.  Dave recently appeared in Keyano Theatre Company's production of Cabaret and performed in the play that won all the accolades at last year's provincial one-act play festival.

Dave's partner in crime in this show, and the two previous, is Zenon Campbell, who plays Felix.  He is an actor who has a natural ability to do comedy.  We watch him every night at rehearsal.  You'd think his reactions and physical antics would get old after awhile.  They don't.  When he clears his sinus cavities or when he descends into a weeping mess with the Pigeon sisters, we find ourselves laughing hysterically.

This ensemble of actors is getting to know each other through the play and the ongoing poker tournament.

"When are you going to join the game?" asked Felix last night.

"Maybe you can deal me in at the cast party," I replied.

I look forward to that.  I'm secretly envious each night they sit down to play.


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