By Giselle Rubio
A play full of laughter is what the women from William Paterson University provided in their their performance of “The Odd Couple” last week.
The play by Neil Simon premiered on Broadway in 1965 with two men in the central roles, but director Samantha Tella cast women – Olive and Florence – for this production. As in the original, the roommates are the complete opposite of each other. One is neat and reserved – Florence – while the other – Olive – is a slob and loudmouth. Needless to say they clash a bit. The play is set at Olive’s apartment during the 1970s.
Tara J. Dernelle, who plays the role of Olive, stated, “Group scenes with all the girls (were) difficult because we all have different personalities. So bonding time between us was very important in order for us to get long on stage. We had to be careful not to step on each other’s toes.”
Not only did all the women do an amazing job on their roles and working together, but the men did a great job as well.
The cast and crew had a month to rehearse for the show and met three times a week, as well as on their own time. During the play, the crew did a quick job moving sets in between scenes. There was one 15-minute intermission to clean up and rearrange the set in complete darkness.
The director did a great job too putting everything together. Tella is also the director of the Chappell Players Theater Group where she has directed plays such as Rent, Honk, Snow White and others.
“Sam was fantastic, we had a great time working with her on this play,” said Dernelle.
After the play the cast did a talk back session, in which the cast gave the audience the opportunity to ask them questions… The audience asked questions such as what their favorite plays were, and what their favorite and least part about doing the play was.
“This was a must see comedy play. I laughed almost the entire time. It is amazing how they only had one month to prepare for it, said Brittney Reddick, 23, of Parsippany. ”It was simply amazing and hilarious.”