Left to right: Rob Stover, Kimball Finigan, Adam Abrams, Michael S. Weir and Adrian Maxwell in Metro Theatre Vancouver’s The Odd Couple. (photo by Tracy-Lynn Chernaske)
Neil Simon’s famous comedy The Odd Couple opened Oct. 30 on the Metro Theatre Vancouver stage. It runs until Nov. 14.
We meet divorced sportswriter Oscar Madison (played by Rob Stover) as his buddies arrive for their weekly poker game. One of the friends welcomed into Oscar’s messy abode is news writer Felix Unger (played by Adrian Maxwell), who is also divorced, but exists on the opposite end of the neat-and-tidy spectrum. The fact that the men are opposites in so many ways does not prevent Oscar from inviting Felix – who is so depressed it worries Oscar – to move in. Of course, they drive each other nuts.
Jewish community member Adam Abrams plays Roy, a regular at Oscar’s Friday night poker games, in the Metro Theatre production, which is directed by Catherine Morrison.
Abrams has been a part of the local theatre scene for more than 20 years, including many musical theatre productions. “I also played Richard in North Van Community Players’ The Trouble With Richard,” he told the Independent. “A personal favourite was portraying Abraham Goldstein, builder of the Sylvia Hotel, in Kol Halev Performance Society’s Two Views from the Sylvia, back in 2017. That was my last time on the stage, and it’s so great to be back, as part of the return of live theatre, after such a long and trying time for all of us.”
He said that, in real life, he is more like Felix than Oscar.
“My wife Christine will vouch for that – and would readily admit to being much more of an Oscar!” said Abrams. “When Felix is fussing over his London broil dinner or imploring Oscar’s guests to use a coaster, I very much see myself, the chef of the family and the one who is always keeping things tidy. After years of sharing a home, Christine and I have negotiated a much more successful arrangement than anything seen in the play. But our relative household peace has depended on us both accepting each other’s style to some degree.”
As for the character he plays in the show, Abrams said, “I like Roy, though he is somewhat crankier and more blunt than I’d be. He’s a voice of reason for Oscar, imploring him to do what’s right – stop gambling, and pay his debts. No surprise, as he’s Oscar’s accountant!
“My favourite scene in the show is the date with the Pigeon sisters, Oscar’s upstairs neighbours,” added Abrams. “The conflicting attitudes to divorce – a mere inconvenience to the sisters, pure heartache to Felix – and how he both derails Oscar’s hopes for the evening and endears himself to the sisters, is a delight. And, while it’s hilarious, there’s an undercurrent of true emotion that I find touching even as I’m laughing, which I do every time I see it!”