Lakeshore Players Dorval kicks off 2019 season with a popular comedy


PHOTO COURTESY LAKESHORE PLAYERS DORVAL

(Left to right): Karen Cromar (Olive Madison), Linda Sheshko (Vera), Jennifer Wade (Mickey), Julie Le Couteur (Renee), Mélanie Desjardins (Sylvie) and lying down Christina Filippidis (Florence Unger) star in the upcoming production of The Odd Couple, Female Version by the Lakeshore Players Dorval.

Lakeshore Players Dorval brings to life the colourful and comedic characters of The Odd Couple, Female Version by Neil Simon as the second production of its 54th season of community theatre.

Directed by Hudsonite Glen Bowser, the production features another Hudson resident, Karen Cromar in the role of Olive Madison, Christina Filippidis as Florence Unger, Melanie Desjardins as Sylvie, Konstantin Kokosopulos as Jesus Costazuela, Julie Le Couture as Renee, Sterling Mawhinney as Manolo Costuzuela, Linda Sheshko as Vera, and Jennifer Wade in the role of Mickey.

Neil Simon’s best writing

“I really think it’s Neil Simon’s best writing,” Bowser told The Journal. “It’s also really funny.” This isn’t Bowser’s first time directing the play. “I directed it about 18 years ago as a fundraiser at Hudson Village Theatre,” he added. “Even now it makes me laugh and it takes a lot to make me laugh when I’m reading a script.”

Bowser describes himself as a director who sits on the side of the audience. “It’s not about me,” he said. “It’s about the audience and the actors having a really good time. It’s all about the relationship between the audience and the actors. It’s a real crowd pleaser.”

Relevant today

Bowser describes it as a play with heart that is relevant today.

“It was the beginning of women talking about equal rights,” he noted. “I like this one more than the male version. I don’t know why it didn’t become the big hit. Maybe it should be on television today.”

As for the ghost of the 1970’s TV sitcom series starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman haunting the stage production, Bowser doesn’t see that as a problem. “Some people may remember it but the female version is different enough that it’s really a new play.”

Comedy of opposites

Simon rewrote his highly popular play, The Odd Couple, with female characters in 1985. The plot revolves around carefree, messy, and divorced, Olive Madison and her neat freak long-time friend Florence Unger. Madison offers to share her New York apartment with Unger when Florence’s 14-year marriage spirals into disaster. Simon’s timeless comedy stretches years of friendship to the breaking point as Madison and Unger learn to live together in close quarters. The ensuing scenarios promise to keep the audience in stitches.

About the organization

Lakeshore Players Dorval is a non-profit community theatre organization that operates on the dedicated efforts of volunteers. “I want to highlight how so many family members are working on this show as volunteers,” said Publicity Director Julie Le Couteur. She noted that Bill Fletcher had recruited his sons Don and Derek to build the New York apartment set and twin sisters Jo-Ann and Marian Pine who have been with the organization for many years were helping out with script supervision during rehearsals.

Giving back to the community in meaningful ways is also a priority for Lakeshore Players Dorval through fundraising benefit performances. In the past, groups such as Animatch, Literacy Unlimited and The Ignatian Spirituality Centre of Montreal have worked with the theatre group to raise financial support. “We also raise money for scholarships for graduating students at the schools where we hold our performances,” said Le Couteur.

The show runs from Thursday, February 7 to Saturday, February 16 at Lakeside Academy, 5050 rue Sherbrooke, Lachine. New this season is the opening night special that starts at 7:30 p.m. which includes a reception where audience members will have the opportunity to meet the cast and crew. All other evening performances begin at 8 p.m. The box office opens Monday, January 28.

For detailed information, consult www.lakeshoreplayersdorval.com or call the box office at (514) 631-8718.

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