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News Release

The Odd Couple
April 2008

First Class Theatre

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre and Delmar Customs Brokers Ltd.

Present
The Odd Couple
By Neil Simon
Directed by Diana Leblanc
With Rod Beattie as Felix and John Evans as Oscar
May 4 - 25, 2008

Felix: “What is it? The cooking? The cleaning? The crying?”
Oscar: “I’ll tell you exactly what it is. It’s the cooking, the cleaning and crying.”

MONTREAL April 2008 - The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre and Delmar Customs Brokers Ltd. are delighted to present this classic Neil Simon comedy after such a long, hard and 'unfunny' winter. With director Diana Leblanc (recently at the Segal for Rose and Fallen Angel) leading a great cast featuring Rod Beattie and John Evans, The Odd Couple will surely have you laughing and holding your sides from Simon’s one of a kind humour.

In Simon’s story, news-writer Felix Unger has just been thrown out by his wife. His only hope is sportswriter Oscar Madison, his slovenly, cigar-smoking poker-pal. But can Oscar tolerate a neat freak allergic to EVERYTHING? Simon’s classic is as poignant today as when the hilariously mismatched roommates first hit Broadway!

Neil Simon’s comedies have been entertaining people for four decades. This staying power comes from the underlying truth of every laugh line. The Segal is proud to be mounting this classic comedy by uniting first-class artists and bringing a great piece of work to the city. Artistic Director Bryna Wasserman explains why she has been laughing with Neil Simon all these years, “Simon has refined the comedy genre to an art. His plays are nuanced; layered with levels of humanity that we all relate to. This is not just simple humour.”

Director Diana Leblanc comments on the endurance of The Odd Couple, “This is one of the best pieces of writing. Period. Though written in, and steeped in, the 1960s, it remains fresh, funny and full of heart and wit. Those of us involved in the production are immensely grateful for its mastery and for the laughs constantly filling our bellies and brightening our spirits.”

Diana Leblanc saw Rod Beattie and John Evans on stage together in The Love List at Victoria’s Belfry Theatre and knew this would be a director’s dream duo if ever The Odd Couple was mounted. A breakfast meeting with Bryna Wasserman sealed the deal and less than two short years later, we are ecstatic to make this production a reality. Rounding out the poker-playing gang and neighbours of Rod Beattie’s Felix and John Evans’ Oscar (bios below) are Glen Bowser, Jennifer Morehouse, Mike Paterson, Marcel Jeannin, Howard Rosenstein and Brigit Wilson. Bringing Oscar and Felix’ New York apartment to life is Yannik Larivee, set; Sarah Armstrong, costumes and Spike Lyne, lighting. Christina Hidalgo is the stage manager.

“You can’t spend the rest of your life crying. It annoys people in the movies.” - Oscar to Felix

88.5 CBC Radio One proudly presents Sunday-@-the-Segal with Andy Nulman
Sunday, May 4, 11am. Admission is free.
We are proud to welcome Andy Nulman, known most popularly for his 15-year tenure as CEO of Montreal's renowned Just For Laughs International Comedy Festival: "Throughout my varied, esteemed and accomplished life, I have always marched to the beat of a different drum. Join us for a Sunday-@-the-Segal that guarantees to be different, surprising, fun...and massively over-hyped."

Monday Night Talkbacks presented by Pratt and Whitney Canada
As usual following the play, some of the actors and/or designers will remain on stage to take questions from the audience. Monday Night Talkbacks provides an intimate opportunity for audiences to engage up close and personal with the personalities bringing first class professional English language theatre to Montreal.

TICKETS AND MEDIA INFORMATION

Run:
May 4-25, 2008

Previews:
May 4 1:30 pm
May 5-7 8:00 pm

Sunday-@-the-Segal:
May 4 11:00 am

Media Opening Night:
Thursday, May 8 8:00 pm

Performances:
Monday - Thursday, 8:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 pm
Sunday 7:00 pm

Matinées:
Wednesdays 1:00 pm
Sundays 2:00 pm

Box Office:
(514) 739-7944

Admission
(514) 790-1245
www.admission.com

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre
Segal Centre for Performing Arts at the Saidye
5170 Cote St. Catherine Rd.

Diana Leblanc - Director
Ms. Leblanc is an actor as well as a theatre and opera director with numerous awards and nominations to her credit. For the Segal Theatre, directing credits include: Fallen Angels and Rose. At the Stratford Festival of Canada, credits include: A Delicate Balance, Ghosts, The Seagull, Macbeth, The Cherry Orchard, Death of a Salesman, Romeo and Juliet, Sweet Bird of Youth and the acclaimed Long Day’s Journey into Night. A founding member of Soulpepper, directing credits include: The Real Thing, Zoo Story, The Maids and A Streetcar Named Desire. Recently Ms. Leblanc directed Rose, the inaugural production of The Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company. Upcoming projects: Assorted Candies at Thousand Island Playhouse and On ne badine pas avec l'amour for Théâtre français de Toronto. Ms. Leblanc is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, a recipient of the Prix Alliance Français and a former artistic director of Théâtre français de Toronto.

Rod Beattie - Felix
This will be Rod’s Segal Theatre debut. Previous credits include: The Cripple of Inishmaan, Theatre Calgary; Sylvia, The Love List (with John Evans), Belfry Theatre; The Crucible, Blessings in Disguise, Manitoba Theatre Centre; Oleanna, Grand Theatre/The National Arts Centre; Love Letters, Canadian Tour; Travesties, Centaur Theatre; 15 seasons with the Stratford Festival of Canada in over 40 roles including Macbeth (Macbeth), Duke of York (Henry VI), Bolingbroke (Richard II) and Pistol (Henry IV pt 2 & Henry V). For the past twenty-three years or so Rod's name has become synonymous with the Wingfield series of stage comedies for a solo actor which has brought him acting awards, rave reviews and sold-out houses across Canada and in the U.S. Rod has won several awards over the years: 1994 Sarasota Critics Association Award; 1992 Gemini Award; winner of the 1991 - 1992 Dora Mavor Moore Award - Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role - for the first three Wingfield plays and the 1988 Sterling Award for Letter From Wingfield Farm.

John Evans - Oscar
John Evans has worked extensively as an actor in theatre and film across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Selected credits include Hamlet in Hamlet, Petrucchio in The Taming of the Shrew, The Love List (with Rod Beattie), Andrew in Sleuth, Jamie in Long Day’s Journey into Night and Vladimir in Waiting for Godot. He has appeared at The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre as Alton Scales in The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window and as Saypo’ in The Trial of the Rosenbergs. John won the Dora Mavor Moore award for best performance as an actor as Lee in True West.

Neil Simon - Playwright
One of the world's most beloved playwrights, Simon’s works include Come Blow Your Horn, Little Me, Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Sweet Charity, The Star-Spangled Girl, Plaza Suite, Promises, Promises, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The Gingerbread Lady, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Sunshine Boys, The Good Doctor, God’s Favorite, California Suite, Chapter Two, They’re Playing Our Song, I Ought To Be in Pictures, Fools, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, The Odd Couple (female version), Broadway Bound, Rumors, Lost in Yonkers, Jake’s Women, The Goodbye Girl, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, London Suite, Proposals, Hotel Suite, The Dinner Party, 45 Seconds from Broadway, Oscar and Felix and Rose’s Dilemma as well as the motion pictures After the Fox, The Out-of-Towners, The Heartbreak Kid, Murder by Death, The Cheap Detective, Seems Like Old Times, Only When I Laugh, Max Dugan Returns, The Slugger’s Wife and The Marrying Man, and the books Rewrites and The Play Goes On. Mr. Simon has also written numerous television and film scripts. He has received more Academy and Tony nominations than any other writer and received the Pulitzer Prize for Lost in Yonkers.