Ridgedale Players Explore Friendship with Female Version of The Odd Couple
(Cherie W. Rolfe, Nov. 14, 2022)
Troy, MI – There is one more weekend to see the Ridgedale Players’ production of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple: Female Version.” Tickets are available for Friday, November 18, 2022 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, November 19 at 2 p.m.
“The Odd Couple” is a play about friends with opposite personalities who become roommates, and try to navigate the dating scene.
The production was originally written with male characters in the lead and supporting roles. In 1985, Simon wrote a version that reversed the gender of the roles. The original cast included Rita Moreno and Sally Struthers.
In her inaugural Ridgedale performance, Alisa Martin, of Farmington Hills, co-stars as Florence Ungar, a super neat and organized person who finds herself single after her 14-year marriage ends. She moves in with her friend Olive Madison (Julie Smith Yolles), a divorced news producer, who couldn’t care less about housekeeping. Their differences are at the heart of the comedy.
Martin, 53, auditioned because “The cast is made up of women my age. There aren’t a lot of shows like that. I think people should see the show because it’s very funny and relatable.”
“I am not like Florence. I’m also not like Olive. I’m more in the middle,” said Martin, a life-long Michigander, with a 21-year career as a referee in the Oakland County Circuit Court where she hears family court cases. She continues her passion for performing on the community theatre circuit.
“I think community theatre is important because it gives people the opportunity to meet new people, be part of a positive experience and produce great shows,” said Martin, who is a graduate of Troy High School and Michigan State University, where, as an undergraduate, she majored in theatre.
“I enjoy doing community theatre because I meet a lot of great people who are interested in putting on good shows. I have always enjoyed performing. I started performing at age six.”
For Martin, the best part of the production has been meeting the other actors in the cast. “We have a great cast of wonderful actors,” she said. But her lead role has come with the challenge of “learning the many, many lines.”
The play also includes a supporting cast of Ridgedale newcomers and veteran performers. Kate Sweeney, Alison Boggs, Brooklyn Nicole, and Cherie Rolfe play friends of Olive and Florence who come over for a weekly game of Trivial Pursuit. Greg Ruvolo and Russell Boyle play the Costazuela brothers who visit for a dinner date. The play is directed by Eileen Sinclair White and assistant director Alexandra LaCombe. Sarah Lackey is the producer.
Tickets are available online or at the door. Ridgedale Theatre is located at 205 W. Long Lake Road in Troy.