From the Archives: Tony Randall and Jack Klugman bring ‘The Odd Couple’ to Shubert Theater

Dec. 4, 1975: Tony Randall, left, throws a fit as a concerned but relaxed Jack Klugman looks on in t
Felix Unger (Tony Randall) throws a fit as a concerned but relaxed Oscar Madison (Jack Klugman) looks on in “The Odd Couple,” Neil Simon’s comedy, playing in December 1975 at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles.
(Bill Varie / Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

After a successful five-season run of "The Odd Couple" on ABC, Tony Randall and Jack Klugman brought their version of Felix Unger and Oscar Madison to the stage.

Los Angeles Times Theater Critic Dan Sullivan wrote:

The annoyances of "The Odd Couple" at the Shubert include the crass canned music between the acts, the muddled crosstalk in the first poker-playing scene and the fact that the theater is miles too big for the play. The splendor of "The Odd Couple" is a dazzling comedy performance by Tony Randall, warmly supported by Jack Klugman.

You may think you know all about Randall and Klugman in “The Odd Couple.” My mistake too, going in. Wrong. We are thinking of the TV series, good of its kind but nowhere near as rich as Neil Simon's original play. Randall and Klugman go back to the source here, and it's lovely to see them acting Felix and Oscar rather than just doing Felix and Oscar shtick. Suddenly we can see these two clowns as live, hurting people — meaning (the mystery of comedy) we laugh twice as hard as on TV. Even care.

This photo by staff photographer Bill Varie accompanied Sullivan's review on the cover of the Dec. 4, 1975, Los Angeles Times View section.

This post was originally published on Feb. 7, 2011.

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