About the Show, About the Actors

The Odd Couple: The Female Version by Neil Simon

In 1985, Neil Simon revised The Odd Couple for a female cast. It was titled The Female Odd Couple and was based on the same story line and same lead characters, now called Florence Ungar and Olive Madison. The poker game becoming Trivial Pursuit and the Pigeon sisters becoming the Costazuela brothers, Manolo and Jesus.

On Broadway, Sally Struthers and Rita Moreno starred as the couple in the original cast, with Lewis J. Stadlen and Tony Shalhoub (in his Broadway debut) as the Costazuela brothers. The play was directed by Gene Saks and ran for 295 performances.

Director Doug Brautigam talks about the show and the theater (Courtesy of Edison OnStage TV)

DeborahDeborah Pedretti (Florence Unger)

Although Deborah has been actively involved in theatrical performance and direction for as long as she can remember, this show marks her debut performance for Playhouse 22.  She is thrilled to be acting in this production for such a wonderful group of talented actors!  Some of Deborah’s favorite productions include: Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Into the Woods, I Never Sang for my Father, Greetings and the Odd Couple female version.  Deborah would like to express her gratitude to the entire Board of Playhouse 22, for providing us with such a wonderful venue in which to play, to Doug for the opportunity and to the entire cast for the belly laughs.  Above all, she would like to thank her loving parents, family and wonderful friends for their undying support.

Joy Salerno (Olive Madison)Joy
Joy is full of joy to be making her first appearance in the first show at Playhouse 22  in the role of Olive. Some of her favorite past roles have been Maureen in The Beauty Queen of Leenane,  Paulina in Death and the Maiden, Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker,  Mrs. Prentice in What the Butler Saw, Blanche in Brighton Beach Memoirs’, Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Lizzie in The Rainmaker.  She recently finished work on the short film Ipso Facto in the part of Esmerelda.   Thanks to all in this wonderful cast and special thanks to Doug for all the love and support.

Michelle Catania   (Mickey)
Michelle caught the drama bug when she was a junior in High School. She joined a drama class because she figured it would be an easy A.  Little did she know her life would never be the same.  Some plays she has performed in are; “Rose Alverez” in Bye Bye Birdie, “Myrtle Mae Simmons” in Harvey, “Maggie” in Rally Around The Flag Boys, “Sara Goldman” in Beau Jest, “Violet” in It’s a Wonderful Life; “Judy” in Send Me no Flowers and “Elizabeth Corban” in Catch Me if you Can as well as “Olive Madison” in the female version of the Odd Couple.  A special thanks to Doug and Playhouse 22 for giving her the opportunity to be a part of the first production in the new and very beautiful Cultural Arts building. She looks forward to many more productions with this excellent group…

Lauren Clark (Sylvie – Weeks 1 & 4)Lauren1
Lauren Clark is pleased to return to the Playhouse 22 family as part of the inaugural season of its new home. Previous Playhouse 22 stage credits include Mayella Ewell in “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Curly’s wife in “Of Mice and Men.”

Michael A. Iacovelli (Jesus Costazuela)
Michael is thrilled to be performing at the new Playhouse 22 with a fine, feathered flock of fellow thespians!!  Most recently, he played the role of Carlino in Wait Until Dark, and the role of Robert in the English comedy Don’t dress for dinner!    Other productions include Run for your wife (Bobby), Sly Fox (Policeman), The Boys Next Door (Arnold), The Heidi Chronicles (Peter)  and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (Trey).  Michael would like to send out thanks to his family and friends, and to thank them for their continued support!!

Mike Levine (Manolo Costazuela)
Mike, a graphic designer by day (and often by night), has appeared at (the old) Playhouse 22 in …A Night in the Ukraine (as Groucho Marx), Promises, Promises, Of Mice And Men and To Kill A Mockingbird. He appreciates berry, berry much the opportunity to rejoin the company in the first show at its excellent new home. Other recent work includes Loot (Edison Valley Playhouse); Jekyll & Hyde, Favor, Lucky Stiff, The Sound of Music and Oliver! (Villagers); Kiss of the Spider Woman and Assassins (4th Wall Musical Theatre); and The Private Life of the Master Race (Backstage Players/MCC). He extends thanks to Doug for offering him this role and for throwing him in with this excellent cast and staff. And, he wishes to express his appreciation to his family for their love and support, without which this unusual ‘hobby’ wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding.

KateKate E. Matseur (Vera)

Kate is delighted to be performing in the Playhouse’s first production in its new home.  Although Kate has been a Board Member for many years, even during our last 4 years of not having a home, she has recently also been working at Circle Players, Villagers Theatre and Somerset Valley Players as a stage manager, her non-performing cap, for various productions over the last 2 years.  Kate would like to tell the cast and crew that “she finally gets it”…and would like to thank her family, friends and BFF for all their love and support, especially over the last couple of months.  BREAK LEGS!

Alicia M. Picone (Renee)
Alicia is thrilled to be a part of Playhouse 22’s “maiden voyage” in their new building and congratulates the board on a job well done. Thanks to Doug, Paula, Adam, and Peter for the opportunity.  Past PH22 credits include Reverend Mother (Nunsense) and Lady Rowena (Once Upon a Mattress).  Favorite roles:  Sylvie (The Female Odd Couple) Martha Brewster (Arsenic & Old Lace), Barbara Smith (Run For Your Wife), Diana (Lend Me a Tenor), Cathy (Lovers & Other Strangers), Gert (Lost in Yonkers), and Sr. Robert Anne (Nunsense).  Directed:  Lovers & Other Strangers, Nunsense A-Men, Arsenic & Old Lace.  Alicia has stage managed, propped, costumed, dressed, and played pit in more shows than she can count.  Thanks to God for giving her strength, Tyler for making her laugh, and her friends/family for keeping her sane.  Jared, I love you.  To her favorite voice over actor – Usted hace mi vida tanto…más

MichelleRMichelle Riklan (Sylvie) (Weeks 2 & 3)

Michelle was last seen as “Bella”  at the Sayreville Main Street Theatre Company’s production of “Lost in Yonkers”.  She is a former member of the Bergen County Players where she appeared as Julie in Neil Simon’s psychological drama “Jake’s Women”.  Other theatre performance credits include:  “The Dining Room”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Grease”, and “Romeo & Juliet”.  Michelle holds a M.A. in Speech and Interpersonal Communication from New York University and a B.A. in Theatre Performance/Speech Communications and English Literature from Hofstra University.  Professionally, Michelle worked in corporate Human Resource Management for many years and has her own consulting firm “Riklan Resources” (www.riklanresources.com) where she mainly specializes in training and development, employee relations and staffing.  Michelle lives in Marlboro New Jersey (check out www.101GreatReasons.com) with her husband David, three children ages 9, 7 & 6 (Joshua, Jonathan & Rachel) and 3 kitty cats.  “I am afeard, ‘tis all but a dream”.