CHELSEA, Mich. – The Purple Rose Theatre Company will ring in the new year with the second play of its 25th anniversary season, Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple."
Two suddenly single pals — a sloppy sportswriter and a neat freak news writer — strain their friendship by turning roommates, but patterns of their own disastrous marriages begin to reappear with hilarious results.
"The Odd Couple" will run from Thursday, Jan. 21 through Saturday, March 26, 2016. Previews, with reduced-price tickets, begin Thursday Jan. 21; opening night is Friday, Jan. 29.
Founded in 1991 by actor, playwright, musician and Chelsea native Jeff Daniels, the Purple Rose Theatre Company is a creative home for original American plays. In the 168-seat theater, patrons experience an intimate encounter with live theater. The PRTC also provides an apprenticeship program, performance classes, readings, lectures and tours. It commissions new work from established and early-career playwrights. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit professional theatre, the PRTC operates under a Small Professional Theatre agreement with the Actors' Equity Association.
Making her professional directorial debut is Purple Rose Resident Artist Lauren Mounsey. Mounsey, a former PRTC apprentice from Macomb, has performed in several PRTC productions including "33 Variations," "Steel Magnolias" and "2AZ." She was a directing intern for "Annapurna" and "Talley's Folly" under Artistic Director Guy Sanville.
"Here was everything I wanted," Mounsey said in a recent interview, "the chance to act, direct and have a family. Guy taught us that the key to happiness is passion, and he stressed that we can have what we want if we work towards it."
"The Odd Couple" cast features PRTC Artistic Director Guy Sanville (Chelsea) in the leading role of Oscar Madison and David Montee (Traverse City), former director of theatre studies at the Interlohen Center for the Arts, as Felix Ungar. The cast also includes David Bendena (Chelsea), Chris Lutkin (Wyandotte), Michelle Mountain (Grass Lake), Jim Porterfield (Northville), Rhiannon Ragland (Gregory), and Tom Whalen (Royal Oak).
Set design is by Bartley H. Bauer, properties by Danna Segrest, costumes by Corey Collins, lighting by Reid G. Johnson and sound by Tom Whalen. Angie Kane Ferrante is the stage manager.
Underwriting support for the season comes from the Ford Motor Company Fund, The Hamp Family Fund, the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, the Sage Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and the Matilda R. Wilson Fund. "The Odd Couple" production sponsor is the Neil & Annmarie Hawkins Family. Media sponsors include Michigan Radio, ChelseaMich.com, Detroit Performs and Applied Storytelling.
All performances will be held at The Purple Rose Theatre Company, 137 Park St., Chelsea. Prices for tickets range from $19 to $43 each with special discounts for students, seniors and groups. For more information or to make reservations, call The Purple Rose Theatre Company box office at 734-433-7673 or go online at http://www.purplerosetheatre.org.