The Odd Couple Romp, Part 9 (a photo essay)

We had a great Saturday rehearsal for The Odd Couple at Keyano Theatre.  The show will open on May 14th and run for a total of three evenings.  Each day of practice is different, though there is one common thread through all of them: a dedication to the process and to each other.

"I love you guys!" effused Murray (played by Tim Heggie) at the end of Friday night's productive session.

The work they did together was extraordinary, muscling through some of the most complicated scenes in the play, often repeating the same segment over and over again.  The sense of resolve, commitment and accomplishment experienced on Friday spilled into yesterday and resulted in great forward progress.

We worked with Dave Boutilier (Oscar) and Zenon Campbell (Felix) in the morning, focusing on their solo scenes, nailing in the lines and some of the complexities.  In the afternoon, we welcomed the rest of the ensemble, warmed up with 30 minutes of poker, and ran the show.

Here are some photos and the comments and observation they inspire:

Zenon Campbell is one of the most naturally gifted comedic performers I have ever seen.  His sense of timing and his ability to contort his face and body are things of beauty.  He is doing a great job as Felix, playing opposite Dave Boutilier in the role of Oscar.  They absolutely give pairings like Matthau/Lemmon and Randall/Klugman a run for their money.

Dave is really coming into his own as Oscar.  The energy he brings to rehearsal, the connection and trust he has established with Zenon, and his command of the character are something to watch. 

"Spoon? You dumb ignoramus. It's a ladle."  I love that line and couldn't resist setting up this shot.

Jim Geary has fallen into our lap and into the character of Vinnie, a Neil Simon creation that he played over two decades ago.  He works at Northlands Forest Products by day but truly could be doing acting full-time; he is just so good, and so natural as Vinnie.

This was my favourite photo of the day.  It captures a moment with Speed (Chris Bowers) in the foreground and Roy (Michael Beamish) in the background reacting to something happening in the scene.  I kinda want to paint this.

The scene when Felix is crying in the bathroom is priceless, as is this shot that captures the guys just as they are beginning to scramble back to their positions at the poker table.

I am so grateful that Tim Heggie accepted the role of Murray the policeman. As I watch him work each day, I completely forget that he is Tim as he has slowly morphed into this loveable NYC beat cop from the mid-1960's. This expression on his face captures the joy we are all feeling getting to have this experience.

Radio personality Leanne Osmond plays Gwendolyn, exquisitely.  She came into auditions with her British accent down pat and she has carved out a delightfully ditzy character as we've been rehearsing this show.  I think she said that the accent comes from years of admiring and watching the Spice Girls.  Did I get that right Leanne?

Diana Cretu is sexy Cecily, the other Pigeon sister.  Despite a crazy busy schedule as a Keyano College student and student association president, she has given her all to this process and is doing fantastic work.  

This photo really says it all about this ensemble and how well they have gelled.  The fun they are having in this world envisioned by Neil Simon is going to translate into a delightful evening of live theatre.  We hope that you will join us.

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