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‘The Odd Couple’ opens at The Raven

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 | Posted by

The Raven Players’ performance of Neil Simon’s ‘The Odd Couple” opens this Friday night at the Raven Performing Arts Theater and is scheduled to run through Feb. 10. 

This will be the first performance of the year for the The Raven Players, the resident theater company of the Raven Theater. The play will be directed by longtime Healdsburg resident John Green, a regular performer on local stages in the area for many years. In fact, Green directed the same play 20 years ago that was staged at the Healdsburg Senior Center.

Ironically, the two performances have strange commonalities, including a potential need for an understudy. Kit Grimm, the actor who is scheduled to play Vinnie (the poker player), suffered an eye injury recently and may miss some or all of the run. Green, however, is preparing to step in himself — to play the same role he was forced to take on two decades ago. 

“In that case, the actor who was rehearsing for the role of Vinnie, got a job in Florida and had to leave immediately,” says Green, a Tax Preparer who has lived here for 40 years. “Only the last time, I had two weeks to prepare. This time, we’re cutting it close unfortunately. But we’ll be okay — the show must go on!”

Green says Grimm told him that he hopes to make the performance and has received an okay from his doctors, but was yet unsure when he would be available. So Green is preparing to fill in just in case.

Steve Cannon and Tim Shippey (ball cap) star as Felix and Oscar in “The Odd Couple” at the Raven Performing Arts Theater.

Another cooincidence involves the current play’s Stage Manager, Kate Mintun, who is the daughter of Dennis Mintun, who played Felix in the older production.

“She was only seven but she helped her father learn all his lines,” says Green. “She memorized every character in the play.”

The legendary play is a comedy is about two men — one divorced and one recently thrown out by his wife — who move in together and clash over their different personalities — Felix is neat and orderly and Oscar is a slob. Veteran local actors Tim Shippey, a mortgage broker, will play the gruff, gambling sportswriter Oscar Madison and Stephen Cannon, a school teacher from Cloverdale, will star in the role as the fastidious hypochondriac Felix Ungar.

Other performers include Jeremy Boucher (Murray), Billy Ray Garner (Speed), Peter Immordino (Roy) and Karen Wallace and Tory Rotllsberger as Cecily and Gwendolyn, the Pigeon sisters.

“Everybody in this production are really good actors,” says Green. “We’re very fortunate.”

“The Odd Couple” opens Friday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. and continues through Feb. 10 with subsequent evening performances scheduled as follows: Jan. 26 & 31, Feb. 1, 2, 7 & 8. Sunday matinees, which begin at 2 p.m., are Jan. 27, & Feb. 3 & 10. For tickets and more information, contact the Raven Performing Arts Theater online or by phone at 707-433-6335. Their email contact is info@raventheater.org.


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