Auditions: ‘The Odd Couple’ and ‘The Mountaintop’

“The Odd Couple,” 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Lofte Community Theatre, Manley, Nebraska. Roles are available for six men and two women, all age 30 and older. Please bring a list of potential schedule conflicts. Auditions will be reading from the script. Rehearsals begin in early March and the production runs from April 6 through 15. Kevin Colbert is director. Information: or 402-234-2553. “The Mountaintop,” 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. Enter through the west stage door and proceed to the check-in table. Two roles are available: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Camae, a young African-American woman who works at the Lorraine Motel. Auditions will be reading from the script. Please bring a schedule, contact information and a list of potential conflicts. Rehearsals begin March 25 and the show runs from May 4 through 27. Denise Chapman is director. Information: Breanna Carodine, [email protected] or 402-553-4890, ext. 164. Notices are printed in the Sunday paper for two weeks leading up to auditions. Email [email protected] at least two weeks before you want to see your notice in print. Continue Reading

‘The Odd Couple’ to pay tribute to Garry Marshall with guest appearances from Ron Howard, sister Penny Marshall, more

“The Odd Couple” has lined up a who’s who of guest stars to honor director Garry Marshall. Next week’s episode of the CBS comedy, starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon, will feature guest appearances from actors from Marshall’s famous TV shows, including Ron Howard, Marion Ross, Anson Williams and Don Most from ‘Happy Days’; Marshall’s sister Penny and Cindy Williams from ‘Laverne & Shirley’; and Pam Dawber from ‘Mork & Mindy,’ according to the Hollywood Reporter. Marshall, who died on July 19 at age 81, developed the original “Odd Couple” series starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. He played Perry’s dad Walter in an April episode, his last acting role before dying from complications of pneumonia. Next week’s tribute episode will see Oscar (Perry) reconnect with “many significant people from his father’s life when he agrees to carry out his final wish to spread his ashes behind the candy factory he used to own,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. “The writing staff and everyone on ‘The Odd Couple’ reboot was thrilled when Garry Marshall joined us as a producer because his shows were part of our TV DNA,” executive producer Bob Daily said Monday in a statement. “He was a kind, generous presence on the set, and we loved him dearly. And when we lost him, we knew we had to do something to honor his legacy — something that, like Garry’s work, was both heartfelt and zany. We are so grateful that the stars of these classic shows are able to join us in honoring him.” The episode airs Nov. 7 at 9:30 p.m. Continue Reading

‘The Odd Couple’: TV review

It would be hard to do a bad version of “The Odd Couple,” and this latest incarnation isn’t. It just isn’t really good. Yet. Matthew Perry plays the hygiene-challenged Oscar Madison, and Thomas Lennon plays the hygiene-obsessed Felix Unger. Perry captures Oscar well, Lennon captures Felix even better. All the action revolves around them, as it has in every “Odd Couple” since Neil Simon wrote the play 50 years ago. The supporting cast, vital in a TV series, also seems solid, with Wendell Pierce as Teddy, Oscar’s agent; Lindsay Sloane as Emily, a neighbor almost as neurotic as Felix; and Yvette Nicole Brown as Dani, Oscar’s assistant. Thursday’s first episode sets things up. Oscar, now a sports-radio talk host instead of a sportswriter, is clumsily but effectively putting the moves on Emily’s knockout sister, Casey (Leslie Bibb), when Felix shows up at the door and announces his wife has thrown him out. That triggers a round of whipsawing. Oscar is reluctant, Oscar is magnanimous. Felix is a wreck, Felix is clear-headed. They fight, they cry, they make up. The problem? Maybe it’s the speed with which all this unfolds, but too often in this first episode things feel awkward, as if the dialogue were written mostly to set up jokes, and therefore the character part of the story seems forced. The dialogue also falls back too often — though not always — on cheap, easy, haw-haw jokes. At one point, Oscar makes a blatantly crude sex remark that, sorry, the Oscar Madison we’ve known for 50 years would never make. Maybe this will all work out. We’d like it to. Right now, the show could use a little couples therapy. Continue Reading

‘Community’ star Yvette Nicole Brown joins CBS’ reboot of ‘The Odd Couple’

Yvette Nicole Brown is heading back to network television. The “Community” star has joined the cast of the CBS comedy “The Odd Couple,” according to Deadline. Brown has been cast as Dani, the assistant of lovable slob Oscar Madison, played by “Friends” star Matthew Perry. The 42-year-old actress replaces Sarah Baker, who played the role in the pilot. Deadline reports that Brown’s new TV gig is a recurring role, which seems to mean she will be able to continue playing Shirley on “Community.” The ensemble comedy aired for five seasons on NBC before moving to Yahoo Screen for its upcoming sixth season. The actress’ new role on “The Odd Couple” reunites her with former “Community” writer Emily Cutler, who now writes for the CBS series. “The Odd Couple,” which also stars Thomas Lennon as uptight neatnik Felix Under, is scheduled to premiere midseason. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Jack Klugman, star of ‘The Odd Couple’ and ‘Quincy,’ dead at 90

Jack Klugman, the legendary television actor best known for his role as one half of “The Odd Couple,” has died at age 90. Klugman died peacefully at his Northridge, Calif. home Monday, with his wife at his side, the Associated Press reported. Born in rough-and-tumble South Philadelphia to Russian Jewish immigrants, Klugman took the part that made him famous in the 1970s, playing the sloppy, cigar-puffing Oscar Madison opposite Tony Randall as neurotic neat freak Felix Unger. Everett Klugman with Tony Randall in 'The Odd Couple' In the show, the quirky pair shared a Manhattan apartment and a dysfunctional relationship that amused legions of ABC viewers for five goofy seasons. Klugman won two Emmy Awards and earned a Golden Globe as Oscar, a New York sports journalist. "Quincy, M.E." came next, in 1975 on NBC, with Klugman cast in the title role as a tough Los Angeles County coroner with a gift for solving crimes.   Everett Jack Klugman (l., with Robert Ito) diagnoses a plot twist on an episode of 'Quincy' The long-running program was the precursor to shows such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and other forensic dramas. Before his T.V. career got going, Klugman — the son of a house painter father and hat maker mother — appeared in several films, including “12 Angry Men.” The last surviving actor from the classic courtroom drama lost his voice to throat cancer in the 1980s, but trained himself to speak again.   Everett The stars of '12 Angry Men': (From l.) E.G. Marshall, John Fiedler, Henry Fonda, Ed Begley, Robert Webber, Jack Klugman, George Voskovec, Martin Balsam, Joseph Sweeney, 1957 Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

‘So You Think You Can Dance’ results July 16: The odd couples

Which odd couple became the odd one out?It was time to change partners on "So You Think You Can Dance" this week, and the fates did not smile on the contestants. After the women drew their new leads' names from a hat, several pairs were woefully mismatched. Tall, blond Kayla, whom guest judge Debbie Harry referred to "white lightning," was paired with Gene Kelly-esque shorty Evan. After they managed to pull off their Viennese waltz, they revealed one of the secrets of its relative success - he wore the heels, and she essentially went shoeless. It was radical for a ballroom dance, since the ladies are always well-heeled - but in this case necessary. Tiny Janette, the dance equivalent of a tequila shot chased with a jalapeno, was paired with gentle giant Ade. The judges liked their funk routine on Wednesday, though her sharp and snappy moves didn't always look at home with his strong and smooth ones. But the most unlucky pair proved to be lanky Kupono and little powerhouse Randy, who came off like a greyhound dancing with a cocker spaniel (the shaggy wig she wore for the dance didn't help). Their paso doble, a difficult dance for the most assured to pull off, was made worse by their size difference. It also highlighted the dancers' individual - and literal  - weaknesses, when Kupono dropped her in the final dip.The best match by far was Jeanine and Jason, who drew a standing ovation from the judges in an emotional story dance about friends about to become something more. The number marked the choreographic debut and triumphal return of Travis Wall, a favorite from the second season.Ballerina Melissa and powerful Brandon were well-matched in a hippie-inspired number to music from the current Broadway production of "Hair."The fate of the hoofers was in the hands of voters for the first time this week, and Kupono and Randi's bullfight number proved to be a dance to the death. The couple received a high leg kick right out of the competition. Continue Reading

Odd couples take over city cabarets

The odd couples are out in force at two of the city's finest cabaret spots. And the experiences are oddly different, to say the least. At Feinstein's, the urbane singer and sometime musicologist Michael Feinstein has teamed up with Broadway hottie Cheyenne Jackson for "The Power of Two," a show that recalls the glamour of old New York dinner clubs. But this is no nostalgia trip. These two men, both openly gay with other partners, have a crush on each other's talent and revel in the chance to let it show. And why not. When Feinstein sings, each note and lyric is finely nuanced. Jackson's turn at the mike brings exuberant charm. While preparing the show, Jackson suggested doing "The Power of Two" by the folk-rock duo, Indigo Girls — which isn't part of Feinstein's typical repertoire. It emerges the high point. It's this harmonious give-and-take that makes this show click as it showcases each performer in fresh ways. In the most moving number, Feinstein performs "The Time Has Come," a forgotten song from '60s by Marshall Barer and Mickey Leonard written after the Stonewall uprising. It interlocks nicely with Jackson's version of "If I Can Dream," written by Walter Earl Brown for Elvis Presley. Both songs speak to being proud of who you are. Feinstein and Jackson are backed by a six-man band. Other standout numbers include the snappy "Salt and Pepper," from a 1960 Sammy Davis Jr. comedy, and their take on "We Kiss in a Shadow." Fifteen blocks north at the Cafe Carlyle, "Debbie Reynolds: An Evening of Music and Comedy" is a bawdy act in a classy room that makes for an odd fit. The show is heavily beaded (her gown is Bob Mackie) and blue (her 77-year-old anatomy is often referenced) as she surveys her two failed marriages, again, and an up-and-down career. Yes, America's ex-sweetheart can still sing. Sort of. As she tears distractedly through songs from "Singing in the Rain," "The Singing Nun," "Tammy" and "Irene," the prevailing idea seems to be that if she sings Continue Reading

The odd couple: Giuliani campaigns for McCain in N.J.

"Oh my goodness gracious!" That was John McCain introducing former White House rival Rudy Giuliani, when the former mayor arrived late to a rally with a modest-sized crowd at the Colonial Volunteer Firehouse here. Giuliani hit the stage with other McCain backers - including two men who once put him on the hotseat over September 11: Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and ex-New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean. McCain and Lieberman cosponsored the legislation creating the 9/11 commission, which Kean ultimately chaired. But nobody brought that up. Instead, McCain owned up to losing a Super Bowl bet to Giuliani. "At least I won something from him - the Giants," Giuliani joked about McCain, to laughter. The man who pulled out after his loss in last week's Florida GOP primary compared his onetime opponent's political comeback to the New York team, who few predicted would take Sunday's trophy home. "Sen. McCain put on an unbelievable campaign, much like the Giants, if you think about this whole campaign, where the senator was in the middle of the summer and the early fall." Giuliani marveled. Read more on the Daily News' Super Tuesday blog   Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

The Odd Couple

Watch TV sports long enough and you’ll reach that point in life when you know they’re no longer selling the beer to you. It’s that midlife slide off advertisers’ demographic radar that you’re feeling. Nothing you can do about it and no reason, really, to feel any remorse. At least now, if you’re no longer within that golden 18-to-35 age range, you can retain some pride in knowing that your life intersected with a glorious, audacious era of televised sporting events when the channels were fewer, special events lived up to the hype and someone like Howard Cosell actually existed. Try explaining to twentysomethings who Cosell was and why he mattered. They can relate only to a global village of 24/7 sports stretched like pizza dough along dozens of cable channels, websites and “talk radio” stations. In a heyday that roughly ran from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, Cosell was practically alone as a motormouthed churl of electronic sports journalism. Now the airwaves are saturated with know-it-alls trying to surpass one another in amplified outrage. But however much they may spritz and kvetch about salary caps, steroids and jock etiquette, the professional grumps now embedded in what sportswriter Robert Lipsyte indelibly labeled “SportsWorld” must know deep down that Cosell invented them all, that they flourish today, for better and worse, because of a labor lawyer from Brooklyn who, despite a grating nasal twang, a pouchy face tailor-made (as the wags like to say) for radio and a toupee that even Richard Pryor couldn’t resist milking for cheap laughs, brandished the kind of flash-point notoriety usually claimed by renegade rock stars. He was huckster and muckraker, malcontent and cheerleader, iconoclast and show horse, provocateur and carnival barker. With such contradictions in play, it’s little wonder that Cosell was found by some public polls to be America’s most beloved and most hated Continue Reading


There have been dozens of stories written about the record-setting $20 million advance of "The Odd Couple," Neil Simon's 1965 comedy, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. But another noteworthy fiscal figure linked to the revival - $29,185.41 - has gotten few, if any, mentions. That dollar amount refers to proceeds from sale merchandise - T-shirts, hats and souvenirs - at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre that has so far been donated to charity. "Every penny of profit goes to charity," says producer Emanuel Azenberg. "We decided we wanted to give something back." Producers, theater owner James M. Nederlander, playwright Simon, stars Lane and Broderick and merchandiser Randi Grossman agreed to donate proceeds to Rogosin Institute, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Ronald McDonald House, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Habitat for Humanity and Fisher House Foundation. An additional $17,108.50 will be divided equally later this month. Beyond "The Odd Couple," Azenberg is working to bring two more plays to Broadway, including Michael Weller's "Fifty Words," a drama about men and women. The ­other is Luigi Pirandello's "As You Desire Me," about memory and identity. The London production starring Kristin Scott ­Thomas and Bob Hoskins closed Sunday. "I have talked to an American actress we'd love to star in it," says Azenberg. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading