Studio 58 graduate Andrew McNee is starring as one of the mismatched roommates in the classic play The Odd Couple by Neil Simon, at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.
Andrew McNee plays the part of Oscar Madison, a carefree sports writer living by himself after a recent divorce.
Robert Moloney, another Studio 58 graduate, plays Felix Ungar, a neurotic neat-freak news writer who moves in with him after separating from his wife, Francis.
The uptight Felix and the mellow Oscar clash as roommates with ups and downs throughout the show.
Theatre grad finds success in recent years
McNee graduated from Langara’s Studio 58 in 2001. He has appeared in several Arts Club poductions, Bard on the Beach, and film roles like Coach Malone in Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
“When I graduated I had a pretty particular look, I used to have a giant afro and that helped with some film roles,” said McNee.
Stephanie Elgersma, a graduate of Studio 58 who has worked with McNee, praised the actor’s comic abilities. “You believe everything he does and he does it so simply that he could just make the smallest movement and you burst out laughing.”
Balancing an acting career
Managing his full time theatre career and raising his two sons, 18-month-old Thomas and three year old Finn has been quite the balancing act for McNee.
“In the last two years it’s been just straight theatre which is great, but a lot of work when you have two of these little guys,” referring to his two sons, 18-month-old Thomas and Finn who’ll be turning four in April. Managing his full-time theatre career with his family life has been quite the juggling act for McNee.
“The great thing about theatre is that once rehearsals are done, I can be a stay at home dad. Once the show opens, the down side is I start work at 6:30 a.m. and go until 11:30 p.m.” said McNee.
Gaining production appreciation at Studio 58
Looking back on his time at Langara, McNee said he gained a real appreciation for the amount of work that went into putting on a play.
“That was one of the great things about that school: you had to experience all the aspects of putting on a play. The acting, but also stage managing, building a set, hanging the lights, doing sound and sewing costumes.”
The show runs from Jan. 23 until Feb. 23.
Reported by Lukasz Jonca