Odd Couple closed last night – I’m still hung over (though mostly from staying up too late reading papers and getting ready for our next posting – the launch of our Middle East Festival – watch this space). We played out the Thanksgiving week with a pretty great streak – of 6 sold out shows in a row, and each house responded with such warmth, some genuine affection for the play and the production, it just made us all so proud and so pleased. Sometimes it’s just about producing a show really beautifully from top to bottom — not worrying what it “says” about society or how it pushes the envelope of new forms or how it marks another notch on the world premiere belt we wear so conspicuously. Producing The Odd Couple did nothing really for anyone’s reputation, except maybe for each of the actors who outran the shadows of other towering performances (Walter Matthau, Jack Lemon, Art Carney, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick) and brought such vigorous life to an unmistakably vivid ensemble of friends and neighbors — and it proud further admiration to director Jerry Whiddon and his great team of designers who realized the vision of this production to a “T.” In fact, come to think of it, THE ODD COUPLE did do all of us at Theater J a lot of pride and made for a great new calling card of an achievement by virtue of how much extraordinary talent we were able to gather and focus and serve a little comic masterpiece. Everything here just worked so well, so holistically, as it were; everything of a delightful piece — kinda like the last bunch of plays we’ve been doing, each of them imbued with an integrity of purpose and ensemble that makes us all very pleased and, again, proud.
But still THE ODD COUPLE was special. Because there were so many laughs to go around. We’ll remember those. For a long time to come.