Hemsley is remembered by TV audiences as the boisterous George Jefferson on the sitcom "The Jeffersons." The spinoff series was based on the character he portrayed on "All in the Family." The actor originated the role of Gitlow in Purlie on Broadway and reprised the role for the revival and the small screen adaptation. Hemsley will take on the role of Oscar Madison. Morita, who made an appearance in the 1967 film "Thoroughly Modern Millie" opposite Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing, rose to fame playing restaurant owner Arnold on "Happy Days." In film, the actor is best known for his turn as Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid" and its three sequels. Morita will tackle the role of Felix Unger.
The Odd Couple centers on the two characters Felix and Oscar who suddenly find themselves roommates. The catch is that the two are complete opposites, Felix a neat freak while Oscar is quite sloppy. Jay Dysart directs the Stoneham Theatre staging. Larry Spellman and Chris MacNeill join with Stoneham Theatre to present the new production.
Simon's The Odd Couple opened on Broadway March 10, 1965 starring Art Carney and Walter Matthau. The play would be adapted for film in 1968 starring Jack Lemmon and Matthau, then again for TV with Jack Klugman starring opposite Tony Randall.
Tickets to The Odd Couple at the Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main Street, in Stoneham, MA can be purchased by calling (781) 279-2200. For more information, visit their website at www.stonehamtheatre.org.