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- Creative Loafing Best of the Bay – Best Actor – Paul Potenza
Likely the surprise of the season to the Jobsite faithful, this 1965 Tony Award winner for Best Play is being given an unsanitized revival by one of Tampa’s most consistently daring and quality companies.
Felix (Paul J. Potenza) has just broken up with his wife. With nowhere else to go, he is urged by his good friend, Oscar (Shawn Paonessa), to move in with him. Oscar is a disorganized, casual, incurable slob and Felix is an uptight, neat and neurotic control freak. Slowly but surely, the pair begin to drive each other crazy with their various idiosyncrasies.
Things go from bad to worse through poker games with pals (Ward Smith, Michael C. McGreevy, Slake Counts and Jason Vaughan Evans), and when Oscar sets up a double-date with a pair of British sisters (Katrina Stevenson and Summer Bohnenkamp). Still, in this hilarious tale of mismatched buddies they’ll learn that love, trust and friendship are more important than living in different worlds.
For those who have long-admired Simon’s masterpiece, there is no need to worry. This production isn’t being rewritten to 2011 Williamsburg, set on the moon or performed with trained animals instead of actors.
For those who may dismiss the title, Jobsite urges you to think again. According to Jobsite Producing Artistic Director David M. Jenkins, “When Paul and Shawn brought this to the board, I think most of us thought they were crazy. Or that they were pulling our leg. They persisted though, and after we all went back and read it again we agreed that we all forgot how truly funny it is. We tend to do a contemporary classic comedy once a year like What the Butler Saw or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, so this really makes sense. This is a great script with an all-star cast.”
The Odd Couple, in all its forms, is truly a popular culture phenomenon. Simon’s wildly successful play ran from 1965 to 1967. In the summer of 1967, the play opened at the Ivoryton Playhouse starring the controversial radio and TV comedian Henry Morgan. In 1968, the play was made into a successful film starring Walter Matthau as unkempt sports writer Oscar Madison and Jack Lemmon as anal-retentive television news writer Felix Ungar.
Today, Felix and Oscar are known to millions from the 1970-75 ABC TV series based on the play which starred Tony Randall and Jack Klugman and can still be seen in syndication.
“… on point, even five decades after the initial Broadway premiere… With dialogue as engaging as Simon’s and the stellar execution of Jobsite’s cast, The Odd Couple is surely on the short list [for] best this year.” – OnStageTampa
“Potenza, easily one of the best performers in the Bay area, gives a brilliant interpretation of cleanliness-obsessed, sad sack Felix, and Paonessa, who seems to have born for his role, does everything right as slob Oscar, the poker-playing sportswriter.” – Creative Loafing
Cast & Crew
- Chris Holcom – Director
- Summer Bohnenkamp– Cecily
- Slake Counts – Roy
- Jason Evans – Vinnie
- Michael C. McGreevy – Murray
- Shawn Paonessa – Oscar
- Paul J. Potenza – Felix
- Ward Smith – Speed
- Katrina Stevenson – Gwendolyn
- Jaime Giangrande-Holcom – Stage Manager
- Greg Newcomb – Poster Artist
- Joe Popp – Music Performer (The Odd Couple Theme)
- Brian M. Smallheer – Scenic and Lighting Designer
- Katrina Stevenson – Costume Designer
We thoroughly enjoyed the show. I brought my husband and two children, 12 and 9 years old. It was my children’s first experience seeing a professional theater production…. They loved the play and the characters and are still talking about their favorite parts. My husband and I also enjoyed the show very much. I can see why you have sold out shows. The characters were expertly played…. I know that the experience left a positive lasting expression on them and we are looking forward to the time when we will be able to see another stage show. Thank you very much. – Maria Weizer
Awesome show! We ejoyed it thoroughly! – Joyce Kincannon
The Odd Couple was very good last night. I had a blast at Jobsite Theater as always. Review is in the works. – OnstageTampa
The Odd Couple – opening night – marvelous fun! I haven’t laughed so hard in years! I am going to urge all my friends to attend. The energy is amazing! And to all my friends in the production – GREAT JOB!! – Sandra Corona Johnson
It was hilarious and absolutely fabulous. – Kim Smalheer
That was such a great show! excellent work, Jobsite! – Lindsay McKay Barchard
Saw this last night, and yeah, sure, we all know the show by heart – except I learned that I didn’t. It was funny, absolutely, but it was more, and not what I expected. It was REAL. You should go see it while you can. – Ned Averill-Snell
Seriously great work by everyone at Jobsite! Y’know I have opinions to spare, and I have nothing negative to say about The Odd Couple!! All the actors were cast perfectly, the set colors were just great and the treatment of such a classic script was respectful and entertaining – Big ups to you all- and especially Chris Holcom’s direction – nothing short of stellar. – Greg Milton
We had SUCH a fantastic time last Friday watching The Odd Couple!!! We just love Jobsite! – Debra Miller
Saw the play today and it is the best one yet. Great acting and interacting among the cast. Lots of laughs. So good to have a funny one this time. – Yvonne McGreevy
Saw it last weekend and absolutely love it! – Charurut Somboonwit
Loved the show! Hilarious from beginning to end. Brilliant performances by all. ( As always =) – Screwnormal
Thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s @jobsitetheater performance of The Odd Couple @StrazCenter. Shawn Paonessa & Paul Potenza rocked it! – macrmccoy
We had a great time, funny show! – @versusmoll
Great show, we really enjoyed it. I will for sure be back often :) – thatgirlallie
just saw the first performance of The Odd Couple @ le Straz Center and it was vunderbar! thank you, @maladrin and @jobsitetheater! – hooboyilltellya
The Odd Couple @jobsitetheater is excellent. Can relate to both archetypes. Playing for one more week. – aatampa
My wife and I enjoyed it greatly. You guys do tremendous work. – Sanford Betz
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