A Neil Simon classic will get a fresh look this summer at the Downtown Playhouse in Pocahontas. “The Odd Couple Female Version” will be staged starting July 22 and running through August 14. 

The comedy follows much the same storyline of mismatched roommates as the original production, but Simon revised his play in the 1980s, updating it and changing the lead roles to be played by females. Oscar Madison became Olive, played by Katalina Holbrook in the Downtown Playhouse production, while Felix Unger was updated to Florence, played by Zoe Eggensperger. 

Even though decades have elapsed since either version of “The Odd Couple” was introduced, director Kelly Grooms said the play remains relevant.  

“The theme of the story keeps a play updated,” Grooms explained. “Stories of love, hate and other human emotions can stand the test of time because of their themes.  So, the play will appeal to younger audiences who were not yet born in the 1960s, but can identify with the theme of the story.” 

Grooms also appears in the play, along with Downtown Playhouse veteran Derek Phelps, as brothers who are neighbors of the women. 

“The Odd Couple Female Version” is sponsored by Hope Gardens Funeral Home and Foster’s Monuments, Inc. It will be staged July 22, 23, 29, 30 & 31 and August 5, 6, 7, 13 & 14. Tickets are $25, tax included, and the cost of admission also covers dessert and a beverage. 

Dessert options are Turtle Pie, Strawberry Pie, Sock-It-To-Me Cake and Sugar Free Parfait. Dessert and beverage selections should be made at the time tickets are reserved. 

Reservations can be made by calling (870) 758-2282. The Downtown Playhouse is located at 302 North Marr Street in Pocahontas.

Photo attached: (Left to right) Kelly Grooms, Katalina Holbrook and Brittany Grooms in a scene from “The Odd Couple Female Version.”