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"Curtain Call casts women in Odd Couple lead roles"

Curtain Call Casts Women Odd Couple in lead roles

It's the Odd Couple with a twist The Timmins Daily Press - By Jeffrey Ougler Timmins - It's the Odd Couple with a twist. A gender twist, that is. !n 1982, Neil Simon opted to throw a curve into his award- winning play depicting the domestic adventures of a pair of mismatched room-mates – Oscar Madison and Felix Unger - by swapping the lead characters' gender and amending the dialogue to fit the scenario and the times. Thus Olive Madison and Florence Unger were born. The Timmins-based Curtain Call Theatre Company will commit Simon's work to the Timmins High and Vocational School's William Dawson Theatre, May 22-24. The company has been burning the midnight oil, rehearsing for the play in the gutted main room in the former post office at Cedar Street South and Second Avenue. Director Gerard Arsenault has been coaching his primarily female cast through what he brands as a rather complex script and production. "There's a lot of dialogue, there's a lot of props, "he said. "it's basically the same premise (as the original production). The guys play poker and women play trivial pursuit, so there's a bit of difference." Bonnie Autio is cast in the neat-as-a-pin Florence, while Marilyn Parnell will portray the messy, un-organized Olive. Heather Swietek, who's also cast in the production, said the company's latest work, along with her overall experience with Curtain Call has been memorable. "this is the most professional groups I've ever been involved with," she said. "To start with, just the reading of the play, picking the play and then building the set, there's a certain feeling of accomplishment, team work and being able to provide Timmins with some excellent theatrical productions." One of the city's two theatre groups - many of Curtain Call's members are Take Two alumni - this production marks Curtain Calls fourth production since its 1993 launch. In 1993, it put on Opening Night, which was followed in 1994 by My Darling Judith and It Runs in the Family in 1995.