William's Reviews > The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple by Neil Simon
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's review
Apr 22, 12

bookshelves: forensics, theatre

Clearly a vehicle for a female cast, but something also gets lost in translation. Oh, the jokes are still there, and there's still some smart reparté, but the view is still essentially masculine. This is a dress-up version of the male play, something of a contrivance. An evening of Trivial Pursuit? Hmmm, something doesn't seem exactly right. There's an off-key aspect that makes the characters less rounded.

Of course, if we begin to ask realistic questions, then the context of female leads begins to throw shadows (as they also did in the original as well). I suspect some part of this lies in our culture's reading of same-sex relationships of any kind. And secondly, since its origin 30 years ago we now have other theatrical models of how women relate, even in comedy.

So a dated play, though still good for use with high school students.
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