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5 Things to Know About The Odd Couple Presented By Hat Trick Theatre

Published: February 15, 2019

The ladies take center stage during Hat Trick Theatre’s newest production of The Odd Couple! With roles reversed, Felix becoming Florence and Oscar becoming Olive, you can expect many of the classic jokes heard in the original 1965 Neil Simon play along with new jokes written for the 1985 female revival. Director Jack Holloway explains, “If you are a fan of the classic there’s something familiar and surprises too!”

Get to know what makes this cast and crew unique before you arrive for an evening of laughs!

1.       Leading Ladies + Classic Comedy = A Show You Can’t Miss

Whether this is your first time hearing about The Odd Couple or you’ve seen one of the many incarnations of the story, there is something for everyone in this female lead show! “I’m really excited that this is a mostly female cast,” Sarah Pullman-Atanacio who plays Sylvie explains. “That’s something that theatre has always been lacking in is strong female roles for women and this has lots of them! And it’s really cool that it’s a comedy because again, it’s hard to find true comedies that have lots of women in them. So that makes me very excited!”

Cast of The Odd Couple
There's no holding any punches when it comes to this cast and their comedic theatrics!

From one-liners to a look that will make you laugh aloud, this cast does not hold the punches. “I really am looking forward to people getting to see us doing physical comedy,” says Bianca Badia who plays Vera. “You’re used to seeing men in comedies, doing fights and getting scrappy, so it’s nice to be able to do the same thing and to be trusted with the same level of comedy.”

2.       Teacher By Day, Director By Night, Get to Know Jack Holloway

Hat Trick Theatre began back in 2004 when a bunch of University of South Florida graduates decided to stay in the area and keep doing theatre. Included in that group was director and educator Jack Holloway!

Director Jack Holloway
Director Jack Holloway working with the cast in between rehearsals.

During the day, Jack can be seen around the halls of the Marcia P Hoffman School of the Arts, teaching in the classrooms or out in the community through the Hoffman’s Outreach Program. A “Jack” of-all-trades, he can also be seen as director, actor and more when working with Hat Trick Theatre Productions. When asked about this experience, “it’s been a blast!”

3.       Roommates In Real Life, Roommates On Stage

While they have performed together in past productions, Jonelle Meyer, who plays Olive and Emily Belvo, who plays Florence will be taking the lead together! “We have performed together before,” Emily explains, but ”nothing this major…the last show we did together, we played sisters, but not a lot of actual time together on stage.”

Jonelle Meyer and Emily Belvo The Odd Couple
While Jonelle and Emily are roommates in real life, can their characters get along as roommates in The Odd Couple?

About 9 years ago when Jonelle was looking for a roommate, she met Emily and the two have been roommates since! “The heart of the show reflects on our real life and how we’re there for each other.”

The chemistry between the two real life roommates shows on stage. They may not fight like Olive and Florence, but Jonelle and Emily are fans of one another and their ability to understand each other’s acting process has “given us an even better idea of how the other one works and sort of respecting well as what our differences are.”

4.       The Torres Brothers Play The Costazuela Brothers

Where have you seen the Torres brothers before? Nick previously performed in Hat Trick Theatre's production of Night of the Living Dead, while Cristian has performed in the summer musicals at the Marcia P Hoffman School of the Arts, most recently Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Fun fact: this performance marks the first time the brothers will be performing on stage together, and as brothers no less!

Torres Brothers The Odd Couple
Where have you seen them before? Nick and Emily have previously performed together during Hat Trick Theatres production of Night of the Living Dead! The Odd Couple will be Cristian's first Hat Trick production.

“It’s like bringing your home life into your work life,” Nick explained, “it’s easy to act with him.”

When it comes to their brotherly dynamic and if it will carry over, Cristian explains that because “he plays the older brother and I play the younger brother…I think it’s easy for me to be kind of like the lost puppy following his lead because there was a time that was real.”

5.       Hoffman Students Hard At Work Outside The Classroom

Having previously worked on the summer musicals at the Marcia P Hoffman School of the Arts, Brendan Boniol and Chris Cavazza will be working behind the scenes as stage managers during the production of The Odd Couple! Brendan explains that “working this show with Hat Trick has been a very humbling experience for me.”

Marcia P Hoffman Students The Odd Couple
(Left) Chris during last years production of Sweeney Todd. (Right) Brendan working from the sound board as classes take place in the Murray Theatre one summer at the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts.

Chris, who has been acting since he was 11, has been able to utilize some of what he has learned as a student at the Hoffman and apply it to his time here. What stands out? Professionalism. “Being around people that are much older than me. It helps a lot.”

So bring your mom, significant other or your squad to see The Odd Couple: Female Version presented by Hat Trick Theatre at the all-new Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall! Shows continue through Sun, Feb 24. Reserve your tickets before they’re gone!