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Sparks fly in Adobe Theater’s ‘Odd Couple’

Left, Vern Poitras stars as Oscar and George Williams is Felix in the Adobe Theater’s production of “The Odd Couple.” (Courtesy of The Adobe Theater)

Left, Vern Poitras stars as Oscar and George Williams is Felix in the Adobe Theater’s production of “The Odd Couple.” (Courtesy of The Adobe Theater)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Felix and Oscar are bringing their mismatched mayhem to Albuquerque.

The Adobe Theater will open “The Odd Couple” on Friday, Feb. 12. The show will play for four weekends through March 6.

The fireworks spark when Felix’s wife throws him out of the house after 12 years of marriage. Sportswriter Oscar takes him in. But Oscar is a slob, Felix is a neurotic neatnik and the inevitable clash ignites.

“It’s funny as all get-out and comedy will always find a venue,” director Mike Miller said. “People know it. Typically, a theater will say, ‘OK, what can we do to pack the theater seats?’ ”

Neil Simon is often the answer, a great writer who knows how to excavate the nuances of relationships, Miller said.

“Relationships are the key,” he added.

“You throw them in a house together. You invent a premise. You support it with the Friday night poker players and you get a lot of relationships swirling around the pot.

“We’ve all been in positions where you can say almost anything to a friend, but if you get too close, forget it. That’s the genius of Neil Simon’s writing.”

George Williams stars as Felix, with Vern Poitras as Oscar. Both initially auditioned for the opposite role. Poitras had once played Felix at the Albuquerque Little Theatre.

“When we switched the two, the chemistry was just right,” Miller said. “It was new to both of them and they both had a lot of growth potential. Eighty percent of our job is casting.”

Miller will direct the comedy with his wife Tish. The pair have previously helmed the Adobe productions.

“The Odd Couple” also stars Mike Van Ryzin (Murray), Ryan D. Morris (Speed), Jeff Hudson (Roy) and Greg Gardner (Vinnie). Maureen Trujillo and Lacey Bingham play the Pigeon sisters.

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