Lane-Broderick Odd Couple Still a Hope; Not Yet a Plan

News   Lane-Broderick Odd Couple Still a Hope; Not Yet a Plan Since first reported by the New York Post in January 2004, the prospect of a Broadway revival of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple has been dangled like a carrot before a thirsty theatregoing public (not to mention a salivating theatre press).

Six months later, the production is still a possibility, but one without any definite timetable or creative team. Lane and Broderick have said in interviews that they intend to do the play, and producer Emanuel Azenberg and playwright Simon have expressed their interest. Still, no theatre has been booked, no director hired.

Though the enterprise was first announced for spring 2005, a spokesman for Simon said the 2005-06 season was a more realistic goal. The reason? Both Lane and Broderick have been cast in the film version of The Producers, which begins shooting in February 2005.

Lane and Broderick would play Oscar Madison and Felix Unger in Simon's classic The Odd Couple. Lane would be the sloppy sportswriter Madison, while Broderick would be the uptight photographer Felix Unger (the twosome might also switch roles at some performances).

In addition to his Tony-winning roles in The Producers and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Nathan Lane has starred on The Great White Way in Present Laughter, Merlin, The Wind in the Willows, Some Americans Abroad, On Borrowed Time, Guys and Dolls, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Love! Valour! Compassion! and The Man Who Came to Dinner.

Matthew Broderick received Tony Awards for his performances in Brighton Beach Memoirs and the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He was also Tony-nominated for his work in The Producers, and his other theatre credits include Biloxi Blues, Night Must Fall, Taller Than a Dwarf, On Valentine's Day, Torch Song Trilogy and The Widow Claire. The original Broadway production of The Odd Couple opened at Broadway's Plymouth Theatre in March 1965. Art Carney and Walter Matthau starred as, respectively, Felix and Oscar. The production won four 1965 Tonys, including awards for Matthau (Actor), Simon (Author), Mike Nichols (Director) and Oliver Smith (Scenic Designer). Matthau then repeated his role on film opposite the Felix of Jack Lemmon. The long-running TV version of Simon's work featured Jack Klugman (Oscar) and Tony Randall (Felix).