Brett Somers and Jack Klugman take the stage at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Brett Somers and Jack Klugman take the stage at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Broadway and television stars Jack Klugman and Brett Somers will perform in "Danger, People at Large," three short comedies by Fred Stroppel, on Thursday, April 21, through Saturday, April 23, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

The special evening marks the first time in about three decades that Klugman and Somers, who played a divorced couple in TV's "The Odd Couple," have performed together. Directed by Doug Moser of New York City, it is the third and final in a series of theatre pieces by playwrights old and new at the Quick Center this season.

Stroppel, a New York-based playwright who has worked with Somers several times, said he is excited about bringing Klugman and Somers, who were once married, together for the three one-act plays. All three pieces, which Stroppel developed at the Theatre Artists Workshop in Norwalk, feature characters at an older age and will showcase the actors' skills and unique chemistry, he said.

The evening begins with the two-person play "After the Ball," which centers on a banker returning home from a festive funeral to face some not-so-festive truths about himself, starring Klugman and Somers. James Noble of Norwalk, best known as the Governor in the hit television series Benson, and Joanna Keylock will appear in "Louie's Daughter," a piece about two old-timers at a corner bar trying to cope with the much younger barmaid in their midst. The final play is "Glacier Bay," starring Klugman, Somers and Keylock. Its story revolves around an elderly woman contending with the vagaries of her Alzheimer-stricken husband and discovering that their futures are not all that different.

Stroppel, a member of the Theatre Artist Workshop, has had productions of his work at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the John Houseman Theater, The Actor's Playhouse, the West Bank Café and the 29th Street Repertory Theater, all in New York City. His musical "Tales from the Manhattan Woods," based on Strauss' "Die Fledermaus," recently completed a successful run at the Wings Theatre.

Stroppel's full-length comedy "Fortune's Fools" was produced off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theater and "Actor!" his satire of the entertainment world, was staged at the Egyptian Arena Theatre in Los Angeles. Having worked in television for HBO, Disney, Nickelodeon and PBS, Stroppel has written several screenplays, including "David Mamet's Gilded Stones," a short film based on his one-act play "The Mamet Women," which was an official selection at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

Klugman has created some of the most beloved characters in television history, having starred as slovenly Oscar in "The Odd Couple" and Dr. Quincy, the tenacious medical examiner in "Quincy." He won two Emmys for his stint in "The Odd Couple," and was nominated for a 1960 Tony Award for a supporting role in the original Broadway cast of "Gypsy."

Klugman's career took off in the 1950s and 1960s, when he landed television roles in "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "The Twilight Zone." He also played several major and character roles in films, including "12 Angry Men," "Cry Terror," "Days of Wine and Roses," and "Goodbye, Columbus."

Perhaps best known as the top row center panelist on CBS' popular game show "Match Game," Somers also held the memorable role of Klugman's on-screen ex-wife, while she was his off-screen wife, in "The Odd Couple." Like Klugman, Somers made many other television appearances during the Golden Age of television, including performances in "Philco Playhouse," "Kraft Theater Playhouse 90," "The New Perry Mason," "The Fugitive," and "Ben Casey."

Somers' film credits include "Getting There," "Bone" and "A Rage to Live," while her many stage credits include "Seven Year Itch" with Art Carney, Isaac Singer's "Mine Prince Mine King," and "The Country Girl" with Klugman. She will return to the Quick Center on May 5 through 7 in her one-woman cabaret show, "An Evening with Brett Somers."

Tickets are $25. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit

Posted On: 03-21-2005 10:03 AM

Volume: 37 Number: 204