“Oscar” and “Felix” in Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple” have become synonymous with the battle between clean and chaos. For the upcoming production of the classic comedy at Pearland’s Pearl Theater, area director Curtis Barber has skillfully cast the perfect pair of actors to bring the two iconic roles to life with an imaginative slap-stick twist on the story.
“Seth Heideman, who plays ‘Felix’ and Vince Tortorice who plays ‘Oscar’ have such a natural and engaging chemistry onstage, it’s surprising to realize they had actually never met before working together on this show,” said Barber during a recent rehearsal. “They both are able to bring an originality and energy to their parts that elevate their performances above what you might expect.”
Heideman, a color guard teacher at Shadow Creek High School, admits that being “Felix” is not a great stretch for him. “I’m kind of a clean freak and perfectionist at heart myself. Creating this part lets me apply all my negative qualities in a positive way, but not have to take it all home with me,” he laughed. This is his first show with The Pearl Theater, having moved to the area last November from Denver after living for a while in Hong Kong where he was part of the cast of “The Lion King.”
Vince Tortorice, however, is well entrenched at The Pearl as an active member of their board of directors, an actor and director. Last seen on stage in their Shakespeare Festival in “Romeo & Juliet” and “The Winter’s Tale,” Tortorice directed the successful “Christmas Belles” earlier in the season. “My first love in the theater is always being on stage. Having the opportunity to find the nuances of such a well-known part and make it my own, has been an actor’s dream,” he said.
“The Odd Couple,” a Tony Award-winner made into a hugely popular movie and television series, tells the story of recently divorced neat-nik Felix Unger, who is forced to move in with the unspeakably messy, Oscar Madison. Add in a group of wise-cracking poker buddies (Chris Blanford, Trevor VanAuken, Gage Cattoni, and David Wertz) and the daffy Pigeon sisters (Robyn LeGris and Penny Rieger), and you have the makings for a tour-de-force night of hilarity.
Tickets for “The Odd Couple” are currently available through the Pearl Theater box office at 14803 Park Almeda Drive or online at Pearl-Theater.com. Starting on March 17, performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. A special buy-one-get-one-free performance on Thursday, March 23 will start at 7:30pm as will the popular “Pay What You Can Night” on Tuesday, March 28.
This project is supported by a City of Pearland Cultural Arts Grant program from the City of Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau.