MASON CITY — Expect to have fun at the Mason City Community Theatre’s production of “The Odd Couple: Female Version,” which opens tonight.
It starts with a game.
The ladies gather at the apartment of Olive Madison, a divorcee who admits to being a slob, for Trivial Pursuit. They are joined by Florence Unger, a stickler for detail who has just separated from her husband.
“This is a feel good play,” said Lorrie Young, co-director with her husband Mark. “It doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
Although it’s an update of Neil Simon’s classic comedy, “The Odd Couple,” it stands on its own, Young said.
“These are very unique characters, not carbon copies,” she said.
As first-time directors, Lorrie gives credit to David Lee and Tim Slaven for their guidance, as well as the cast members who have been “very gracious to two new directors.”
“It’s been really fun to watch each of the actors develop the personality of their characters,” Young said. “The characters are so vibrant, the dialogue between characters is so quick and witty.”
Colette Slaven plays the “neat, psychotic, neurotic, obsessive compulsive” Florence.
“What’s scary is I see so many things about myself that are like Florence,” Slaven said. “We all have elements of Florence and elements of Olive that are battling. I’m having a lot of fun with her.”
Bobbi Bendickson plays her counterpart, Olive.
“I get to be a slob, be in touch with my inner slob,” Bendickson said. “But I’m not really that way.”
The play is set in the 1980s.
“Trying to recreate that look has been fun,” Young said.
“We have a very fine collection of ‘80s clothing,” Bendickson added.
Much of it was found on eBay by cast member Lori Holthaus, who plays Vera.
Holthaus said she enjoys her character, who is “innocence personified,” according to Young.
“She’s very slow,” Holthaus said. “I can really be that dumb.”
Sue Bowers said she has fun playing Renee, the level-headed one of the group.
“The lines are so funny, it’s hard to stay in character,” Bowers said.
Kayla Niner plays Mickey, a “hot tempered” police officer. She also is assistant director.
“She’s really passionate about everything she does,” Niner said about her character. “Mickey really cares about her friends, she puts them first.”
The only men in the cast are Matt Kono and Alan Steckman, who play brothers Manolo and Jesus.
Niner said the show is a good one for a girls’ night out, but that men should enjoy it too, as it reveals “the inside workings of the female mind, in their non-secretive element, enjoying life.”