Felix and Oscar Inspire Odd Couple Opening

The food and decor at the party celebrating the blockbuster Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s comedy mixed pizza boxes with elegant flowers, and fussy food with cookies.

November 2, 2005, 12:00 AM EST

At the opening night party for Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, Nathan Lane's sportswriter character Oscar inspired the centerpieces in the form of baseball helmets, pizza boxes, sports pages, a baseball, and snacks like pretzels, potato chips, and candy bars.

The Odd Couple opening night party Brooks Atkinson Theater (performance), New York Marriott Marquis (party) Thursday, 10.27.05, 7 PM to 1 AM
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Guests arriving at the Marriott Marquis after the opening night performance of the blockbuster Broadway revival of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple found a mix of fussy Felix and messy Oscar touches, as well as specific nods to the production. Suzanne Tobak of Tobak Lawrence Company worked with the show's producers to put together the sold-out show's after-party and looked to Susan Edgar to execute unusual table decor.

Half of the tables in the hotel's Westside Ballroom were decorated with tall, elegant floral arrangements of green and pink hydrangeas poised high over the tables in golden pedestals—a homage to Matthew Broderick's high-minded Felix. Nathan Lane's sportswriter Oscar inspired the centerpieces for the rest of the tables—upturned baseball helmets placed on top of pizza boxes and stuffed with the sports pages, a baseball, and snacks like pretzels, potato chips, and candy bars. Customized, Odd Couple-imprinted poker chips were scattered around both centerpieces as nods to the poker games in the play.

Another inspiration from the plot: When Felix arrives at Oscar's messy apartment, he finds the refrigerator full of green, moldy food, so the party’s tuna salad sandwiches arrived on dyed green bread. (For those that preferred their food the proper shade, there were also turkey sandwiches on white.) A Felix catering touch appeared in the form of BLTs—with the crusts cut off, of course.

Other edible nods to the play showed up in the form of a carving station with London broil and Chinese food stations to illustrate the burnt London broil dinner Oscar and Felix prepare for their sexy neighbors, the Pigeon sisters, and the Chinese food they end up eating instead.

The opposing personalities also appeared at the dessert table, where sophisticated brûlèes were served alongside chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies and cupcakes.

Mark Mavrigian

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