Felix makes an appearance, sort of

“Come Blow Your Horn” was Neil Simon’s first play. I was amused when we had our first runthrough and one of the characters, Peggy, makes reference to taking acting lessons with another resident of the apartment building where the story takes place. That resident is never seen — he’s not a character in “Come Blow Your Horn” — but his name will sound familiar:

Felix Ungar.

Despite the fact that they share a Wikipedia entry, I don’t think it’s necessarily supposed to be the same Felix Ungar who would turn up a few years later in Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” The Felix Ungar in the play and movie of “The Odd Couple” was not an acting coach but a newswriter. (He was a photographer, whose last name was spelled “Unger,” in the TV series, which didn’t involve Neil Simon.) I’m purely speculating here, but I would guess that Simon just liked the character name and figured no one would notice if he re-used it. And it’s a perfect name for the fussy character in “The Odd Couple.”

Just for fun, by the way, I looked up the address given for the apartment in “Come Blow Your Horn” on Google Earth. I can see the very nice-looking building next door, 40 E. 63rd St. I don’t know if this building is large enough to also take up the space that would be 42 E. 63rd St. If not, the next place down the street — the other possible contender for 42 E. 63rd St. — is a drape with an illustration of a facade on it, presumably hiding some sort of construction or demolition.

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