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The Odd Couple Kicks off New Comedy Play Readings
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Matt Musgrove and Matt Gorby will star in Laughing Stock Theatre’s upcoming play reading of “The Odd Couple.”
   
Friday, April 19, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Laughing Stock Theatre is kicking off its new series of comedy play readings with a reading of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.”

The 1965 Broadway play will take the stage at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 24.

It revolves around two mismatched roommates who were played by Walter Matthau and Art Carney in its premiere. It earned Tony Awards for Best Actor, Best Author, Best Direction and Best Scenic Design and was nominated for Best Play.

The play centers on two unforgettable characters: Felix, a neurotic curmudgeonly neat freak who moves in with his friend Oscar, a slovenly sportswriter who likes to gamble, never throws out anything in the refrigerator but loves life.

The reading features Matt Gorby as Oscar and Matt Musgrove, the well-coiffed newspaperman. Jon Kane, Bill Nagel, David Janeski, William Hemmings, Megan Mahoney and Aly Wepplo will round out the cast.

“I’m excited to do it as I love ‘The Odd Couple,’ ” said Musgrove. “I think it will be lots of fun.”

Other plays in the series are:

“The Importance of Being Ernest” by Oscar Wilde on Wednesday, May 8.

The 1895 play is a satirical farce in which Ernest and others take on fictitious personas to escape social obligations.

“It’s Only a Play” on Wednesday May 22.

The play by contemporary playwright Terrance McNally opened off-off-Broadway in 1982, made it to off-Broadway in 1986 and finally landed on Broadway in 2014. It concerns a rather tense party where a producer, playwright, actors and others await the opening night newspaper reviews of their latest Broadway play.

Admission to each reading will be $10 and free wine, beer and pretzels will be provided. Play readings will be held at 6 p.m. each evening in the new Laughing Stock Theatre space at 491 E. 10th St., No. A7, across from the Knob Hill Restaurant. For tickets, visit www.laughingstocktheatre.com.

Laughing Stock Theatre has been trying to figure out how to bring more plays to the community now that it has its own space. The company settled on play readings since theater can be prohibitively expensisve, said Patsy Wygle, who heads up the theatre company with Megan Mahoney and Kathy Wygle.

“This series will offer readings of plays that are classic, comic and essential to the development of theater as we know it today,” she added. “They have stood the test of time. With all that is happening in the world today, the focus will be on comedy. Some of these plays will be considered for future productions and some will just stand on their own. Either way, the evenings promise to be full of talent and laughter.”

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