We’d like to introduce to you Gwendolyn and Cecily Pigeon, Oscar and Felix’s flirty, frolicsome British neighbors. Here’s a little clip of the adorable duo before they take flight:
The Sisters Pigeon (“You don’t spell it like ‘Walter Pidgeon,’ you spell it like ‘coo-coo pigeon!’”) don’t descend on Oscar and Felix’s eight-room apartment until Act II of the show. That means that actors Amy Bodnar and Helen Anker have a lot of time outside of rehearsal to descend on Salt Lake! We caught up with them for a few minutes between The Copper Onion and mastering the Park City slopes.
PTC: Have you worked on Neil Simon before? If so, when and where?
Helen (who is originally from England): I was lucky enough to play Peggy Olson, an American role, in the recent Broadway production of Promises, Promises. It was directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford, who I had worked with in the UK before, so it was a wonderful introduction to living and working in NYC. I also had the pleasure of meeting Neil Simon—he was very involved in the rehearsal process!
Amy: Years ago, in Los Angeles, I was in a production of The Goodbye Girl. I was part of a trio singing a song called “Too Good to Be Bad” where I was in a huge hamburger costume with a giant pickle on my head. The other two girls were a giant milkshake and a box of french fries.
PTC: What’s your favorite part of doing comedy?
Helen: Well, the dancing hamburger and I just appreciate doing something that makes people laugh and forget their problems for a minute or two. Simple answer, but true.
PTC: You two are (mostly) onstage together, and work off of each other really well. In fact, one could say that the title The Odd Couple could apply to the Pigeon sisters as well. How have you bonded during this process?
Helen: We have had a great deal of time to get to know each other, as we’ve not been needed in the rehearsal room as much as the guys, and we have found that we have many things in common.
Amy: we played the same role in Trevor Nunn’s Oklahoma! Helen in London’s West End, and me on Broadway! I even wore Helen’s costumes and we both understudied the lead role of Laurey.
Helen: Our real life sisters have the same birthday, and our birthdays are the same numerically, but reversed (in England we write our date of birth day, month, year). Our commonalities have made us fast friends.
PTC: If you two found yourselves on a double date with Oscar and Felix, who would get whom?
Both agree: We think Gwen and Cecily are still looking for their dream dates at “Slenderama.”
PTC: What sorts of activities have you done outside of rehearsal – gotten to see any SLC sites?
Helen: We have just about mastered the Trax, and visited the various shopping malls, and the Broadway movie theatre.
Amy: Last day off we hired a car and visited the beautiful Park City area, and saw the Olympic Park, such wonderful views and we loved Main Street.
As you see from the photos, Amy and Helen mastered the slopes—not bad for beginners!
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