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Monday, April 21, 2014
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Published: 3/21/2013

‘Odd Couple’ has a female touch in Napoleon

BY JULIE NJAIM
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Melissa Maassel, left, plays Florence and Erin Riley is Olive in the Maumee Valley Civic Theatre's production of ‘The Odd Couple.’ Melissa Maassel, left, plays Florence and Erin Riley is Olive in the Maumee Valley Civic Theatre's production of ‘The Odd Couple.’
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NAPOLEON — Olive Unger and Florence Madison are proof that complete opposites can coexist as roommates this weekend when Maumee Valley Civic Theatre presents The Odd Couple (Female Version) opening Friday at the American Legion Hall in Napoleon.

Unger and Madison. The names ring a bell, don’t they?

Olive and Florence are the female adaptations of Oscar and Felix from Neil Simon’s Tony Award-winning 1965 play, the 1968 film version, and the 1970s television series.

“We knew people knew The Odd Couple, so that would be a big draw,” said director Kim Bingham. “We were looking for something that featured a lot of females. We have a strong female population in our theater group. We wanted to get strong female roles and still have the men involved, too.”

The play was difficult to find, the director said. Several searches landed on the male version and then persistence paid off for Bingham and Malory Zwiebel, who also is directing.

“It’s a nice way of seeing how female friendships really help you through a situation... I just like seeing the bonds between the characters and how they play out. Each one of the women has really a different characteristic. One is a police woman. One is a snob. One is an airhead. One is dating. One thought she would be married 100 years, and then there’s the professional.”

Florence, played by Melissa Maassel, is tidy and particular and moves in with Olive, played by Erin Riley, who is a divorced and messy career woman.

Many of the scenarios are the same as in the original male version with some variations, Bingham said.

The friendships bond over a weekly Trivial Pursuit game instead of the men’s poker night.

This is a dinner theater production; however, tickets are available for the show only.

“The Odd Couple (Female Version)” will be performed at 8 tonight, Friday, and Saturday at the American Legion Hall, 500 Glenwood Ave., Napoleon. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or by calling the Henry County Chamber of Commerce: 419-592-1786.

Edgy Reading

The Toledo Repertoire Theatre wraps up its Edgy Rep Reading series Saturday with the farce You’ve Got Hatemail at Owens Community College’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

This mature comedy is for adults who are not easily offended.

It’s a commentary on the lack of face-to-face communication and what can happen with the click of the “send” button.

“You’ve Got Hatemail” will be read at 8 p.m. Saturday at Owens Community College Center for Fine and Performing Arts, 30335 Oregon Rd., Perrysburg. A pre-show reception will be held at 7:30. Tickets are $10. Information: 419-243-9277 or toledorep.org

Student Works

The University of Toledo will spotlight student works this weekend in the Aspiring Filmmakers Showcase.

Screening of student works selected in juried competition will be held at 7:30 p.m. today at the Maumee Indoor Theater, 601 Conant St., Maumee.

The films will be shown a second time at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the UT Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre, Towerview West and West Rocket Drive.

The films vary in length from three to 30 minutes. Topics include swamplands, rainbows, regrets, haunted houses, and heroes.

Tickets for each showing are $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students. Information: 419-530-2375.

Please send theater items at least two weeks in advance to jnjaim@theblade.com.



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