How Much Neil Simon is Too Much Neil Simon?


| ckasden@queenscourier.com |


THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Bayside resident Xu Jun prepares his brood for a race that will require the pigeons to fly hundreds of miles.

When local troupes need to drum up ticket sales, some cynics say “Just give ‘em

a Neil Simon comedy!” After all, he’s a born and raised New Yorker with a long list of successful and very, very funny scripts with a New York edge. In fact, some Queens troupes embrace this philosophy while others refuse to offer his comedies. They prefer to seek unusual and sometimes unpopular projects for art’s sake. Who’s right? And does it matter?

Well, right now, the Rockaway Theatre Company is presenting Neil Simon’s beloved “The Odd Couple” at Fort Tilden (Gateway National Recreation Area). Local veteran performer Bernie Bosio stars as consummate Oscar while David Risley is fussy Felix. The giggling Pigeon sisters (Susan Corning, Kim Simek), Murray the Cop (Jose Velez), Speed (Joseph Canizio), Roy (Frank Freeman) and Vinnie (Norman Scott) present a pleasant supporting ensemble’s interpretation as foils for Oscar and Felix.

As expected, the show is hilarious and the cast is outstanding. Producer Susan Jasper and Directors Peggy Page and Michael Wotypka deserve praise for ignoring the negative pundits in favor of a feel-good evening.

Be honest, do you check the listings for shows you know or for those that tickle your intellect? Before you decide, check out RTC’s version of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” Call (718) 374-6400 or check www.rockawaytheatrecompany.org for tix. Then let us know.