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NEW BERLIN —  The prissy Felix Ungar and the messy Oscar Madison will stride the stage of New Berlin West as "The Odd Couple" is presented at the school this weekend.

The play, the movies, the television series have been favorites for decades and most know the premise of the newly divorced Felix who moves into Oscar’s unkempt apartment.

Neil Simon introduced the classic characters of Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar in 1965.

Simon had published his first Broadway play "Come Blow Your Horn" in 1961, and "The Odd Couple" was
his third Broadway show giving him critical acclaim at the age of 36, said Judith Smith, managing artistic director of WestPAC.

Movie, TV

In 1968, "The Odd Couple" was made into a highly successful film starring Jack Lemmon as Felix and Walter Matthau (who had already played the role on Broadway) as Oscar. From 1970 to 1975, "The Odd Couple" was a successful television series, starring Tony Randall as Felix and Jack Klugman as Oscar.

In 1985, the show was adapted to the female version, where Florence Ungar and Olive Madison dwelt. The high school presented the female version at the New Berlin West Performing Arts Center in 2014.

With the poker game buddies and the English-born Pigeon sisters, the three-act play is sure to delight audiences just as it did in 1965, Smith said.

Set in the early 1970s, the play takes place in Oscar Madison’s New York apartment. Divorced and slovenly, Oscar keeps his place a mess as the show opens to the weekly poker game with the guys. Felix is late to the game as he has discovered his wife wants a divorce. But Oscar’s big heart invites Felix to live with him.

Along with exaggerated health issues, Felix’s desire for cleanliness makes a home for the two men while Oscar ignores the challenges this new roommate creates.By the final act, Oscar can’t take any more and the on-going comedy between the two becomes a heart-warming ending, Smith said.

The cast

Appearing will be Zach Karolek as Felix Ungar; Brooklyn DiPietrantonio as Oscar Madison; Ilisia DuMez as Gwendolyn Pigeon; James Karolek as Roy; Olivia Nyman as Speed; Alyx Knueppel as Vinnie; Audrey Moczulewski as Cecily Pigeon; and Olivia Vernon as Murray.

"The Odd Couple" will be presented by the West Theatre Arts Program, the exclusive theater program for New Berlin West Middle and High School, 18695 W. Cleveland Ave.

Curtain will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 9.

Admission will be $9, general; $7 for those at least 61 years old; $5 for students; and $2 for children younger than 10. All seats are general seating.

More information is available at nbexcellence.org/community/westpac.cfm.

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