Two Muses makes an ‘Odd Couple’
By Eric Czarnik
Posted October 25, 2011
Two local founders of a new theatrical troupe believe there is nothing odd about expanding opportunities for women.
Barbie Amann Weisserman and Diane Hill launched the nonprofit Two Muses Theatre around the beginning of the year. They are getting ready to present a female version of Neil Simon’s classic play “The Odd Couple” this November at Barnes and Noble in West Bloomfield.
The original “Odd Couple” play from 1965 followed the personality clashes of roommates Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison. But the alternate female version — released 20 years later — changes the roles to Florence and Olive, who are played by Hill and Weisserman.
The Two Muses production has roles for six women and two men. This fits with the troupe’s goal to provide more outlets for female actors and theater workers, Weisserman said.
“A lot of the plays, if you look at them, are male dominant,” she said. “Or if there is a good female lead, it tends to be an ingénue, not for older female actors.”
The two women, who live in Farmington Hills, said they came up with their troupe’s name after looking up the definition of “muse,” which is a goddess of the arts. Before starting the company, they were professionally involved in local metro Detroit theater for more than two decades.
Hill said the decision to produce “The Odd Couple” came from one of their company’s board members.
“It’s almost perfect,” Hill said. “Barbie and I are playing the odd couple (title characters), and we are quite different in nature. We balance each other well. It ended up being absolutely the right choice.”
Hill said she has enjoyed co-directing the production and said the rehearsals have been fabulous. “There’s very much almost a science to directing comedy,” she said. “It’s all in the timing, and the ladies working with me get it.”
Two Muses’ next show will be “Same Time, Next Year” in the winter. The group also plans to eventually do children’s shows and charity performances to benefit at-risk women or children.
Hill said the actors have relied on friends and family to come watch them perform, and Two Muses has organized Facebook message blitzes and has distributed postcards and fliers announcing “The Odd Couple.”
“People seem to be excited about the fact that this is focusing on women,” she said. “Our goal is to get people there, to get people to enjoy the theater and hopefully come back, so we are keeping it light.”
Two Muses Theatre’s presentation of “The Odd Couple” will run Nov. 4-6, 11-13, 18-20 and 25-27 at Barnes and Noble, 6800 Orchard Lake Road, in West Bloomfield. Admission is $18 for adults, and $15 for students and seniors 62 and older. To learn more about show times and tickets, visit www.twomusestheatre.org or call (248) 850-9919.
About the author
Staff Writer Eric Czarnik reports on Sterling Heights and Utica Community Schools, and he writes a weekly auto column. He is a Wayne State University graduate who has been employed at C & G Newspapers since 2007.
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