by Laura Sukowatey, Hudson Star Observer
Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple” creates a situation where two diametrically opposite individuals attempt to coexist in a New York apartment.
It opened to an early summer audience last Friday (June 13) at the St. Croix Off Broadway Dinner Theatre at the Best Western Hudson House Inn.
The comedy about “middle aged men behaving badly”, directed by James Zimmerman, captured the classic essence of the original characters and produced a show Simon would be proud of.
The play opens with Oscar Madison, played by Jason Decheine, and friends sitting down to a game of poker filled with a continuous display of each character’s amusing antics and comical characteristics. But their buddy Felix Ungar, played by Andy Babinski, is late; an uncommon occurrence for the extreme neat freak. After learning Felix and his wife broke up, Oscar invites Felix to move into his disastrous, eight-room apartment with him – and the two forces collide in hilarious misadventure.
Throughout the show the audience was engaged in the performance; whether it was tone of voice, body language or facial expression, the cast offered comedy at its best. Andy Babinski’s portrayal of the anxious Felix with extreme allergy and back problems was believable and entertaining. Jason Decheine gave a hilarious performance as the loud, but laid back, slob Oscar who isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind, especially to his ex-wife.
Every character, including the energetic Pidgeon sisters, played by Fredrice Nord and Melanie Nelson, and poker playing buddies, played by Tom Monn, Tyler Haines, Scott Carson and Eric Douglas, brought something to the table to help create a memorable show for all those in attendance. It was a treat to be entertained by such a talented director and cast.
Not only does the St. Croix Off Broadway Dinner Theatre provide terrific entertainment, but also a meal beforehand with a variety of menu items to choose from. Enjoy a salad and appetizer before the meal and finish off with a dessert served at intermission. Beverage service is available throughout the performance.
In addition, the dinner theatre provides something that can’t always be matched by a large Broadway production: the personal touch. Master of Ceremonies, Jason Decheine, greeted every table and started out the night by introducing the play and special guests in the audience. The theatre is friendly and seating is just feet away from the stage – a truly personal experience.
Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. One matinee is scheduled July 19 at noon. Tickets are $46.65 for the dinner, show, tax, and tip; the matinee is $38. The theatre is located in the Best Western Hudson House Inn on Crestview Drive. Contact them at (715) 386-2394 ext. 333 or visit the website at http://stcroixoffbroadway.com.
St. Croix Off Broadway Dinner Theatre offers an pleasant night of food and entertainment for everyone, whether you’re a Broadway buff or new to the scene. This summer celebrate a night of comedy with “The Odd Couple” cast and crew. Hudson might not be the Big Apple, but the spirit of Broadway is closer than you think.
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St. Croix Off Broadway Dinner Theatre
1616 Crest View Drive, Hudson, WI 54016 Box Office: (715)386.2394 ext. 332
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