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Paul Bunyan Playhouse: 'Odd Couple' now showing

Actors Ari Hoptman, left, and Zach Curtis rehearse a scene in the classic comedy "The Odd Couple" the second play of the Paul Bunyan Playhouse summer season. The play opens at 8 p.m. today and runs through July 3 with a matinee on Sunday, June 28. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

The Odd Couple will open tonight at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse starring Zach Curtis as Oscar Madison and Ari Hoptman as Felix Unger.

Curtis and Hoptman playing off each other's comedic antics will bring their own style to what is accepted as Neil Simon's funniest comedy. The humor is continuous from the moment the play opens. Set in a New York City high rise apartment in the late 1960's, these mismatched roommates struggle in coping with each other's oddities.

"Zach and Ari are smooth, efficient and two of the funnier people in the industry," said Peter Moore, guest director. "They raise the bar for live performance in Northern Minnesota."

The poker buddies are played by some familiar faces. Bemidji actors Mitch Bernston and Andrew Bowers play Murray and Speed, while Dale Pfeilsticker returns to the playhouse as Vinnie, and Alexander Broeffle rounds out the group as Roy.

The Pigeon sisters, a potential love interest for Felix and Oscar, are aptly played by returning actors, Karen Wiese-Thompson as the endearing Gwendolyn and Leslie Ball is the charming Cecily. Both women appeared in last year's playhouse production, "The Music Man."

"The Odd Couple" runs through July 3 with 8 p.m. evening performances Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $22 and student tickets are $10 for anyone younger than 21. The 2 p.m. Sunday matinee tickets are half price at $11. Tickets may be purchased through the Playhouse Box Office at 751-7270 or online at The air-conditioned Paul Bunyan Playhouse is located in the Historic Chief Theatre is located at 312 Beltrami Avenue.