The Odd Couple: by Neil Simon 

The Brooks Atkinson Theater, 256 West 47th Street

There are a number of reasons why I probably shouldn't bother reviewing this celebrity-studded revival of Neil Simon's beloved comedy about two antithetical bachelor roommates.

1. The run is completely sold out so you can't buy tickets unless you're willing to do something illegal to obtain them.
2. Tickets were at least $100 a pop, and I suspect most L readers wouldn't be dumb enough to waste that amount of money on a show.
3. I don't have anything to say that other critics haven't already noted.

All that said, I wish I had been one of the producers of this production of The Odd Couple, because while the audience isn't laughing, the backers are doing so all the way to the bank. Before it even opened, the show had racked up $21 million — a record for a straight play. Of course people don't care about the script; they're coming for stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, the team that helped turn The Producers into a Broadway blockbuster and the biggest Tony-winner of all time. I saw the duo in that maniacal Mel Brooks musical and frankly, while I loved Lane, Broderick seemed to be channeling the pimply kid from The Simpsons. Apparently he favors this acting style because his Felix Unger is an annoying, whimpering whiner and simply not funny. He doesn't even work as (forgive me) a straight man to Lane's flamboyant Oscar Madison. Lane goes through the paces professionally and is intermittently amusing. But there's something really wrong with a comedy where the princess from Conan the Destroyer, Olivia d'Abo, elicits the biggest guffaws.


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