Phipps Puts New Spin on The Odd Couple

Friendship is the focus for the all-female cast of Neil Simon’s popular play
Anne Spradley (as Olive) and Mariah Christensen (as Florence) rehearse their scenes at the Phipps Center for the Arts.

For many artists, the CREATIVE process is an art FORM IN AND OF itself. That’s certainly true for Kasey Tunell, director of Neil Simon’s all-female version of The Odd Couple, playing at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson this spring. This new twist on a classic play, set in New York’s Upper West Side during the 1980s, focuses on the friendship of an unlikely pair of roommates, Olive Madison and Florence Unger. Over a weekly game of Trivial Pursuit, Madison’s zealous but messy personality and Unger’s orderly world come together to form a witty and amusing relationship.

The cast and crew at The Phipps Center also enjoy close relationships. “It’s like a second family,” says Tunell, adding that the genuine friendships that have developed have helped strengthen their performances. “I want to focus on the people in a production . . . do more with the rehearsal than just work on the script”—which in this case can mean social nights out or playing off-stage games of Trivial Pursuit.

(seated left to right) During rehearsals, cast members Tricia Cook, Abigail Heimel, Stacey Medellin and Lynnea Sundman play their weekly Trivial Pursuit game, while Mariah Christensen and Anne Spradley “argue” in the background.

The Odd Couple
April 10–26 // Show times vary
The Phipps Center for the Arts
109 Locust St., Hudson // 715.386.2305