'The Roommate' in Costa Mesa is a rueful depiction of an odd couple

There are those who may deem “The Odd Couple” as the last word in depicting middle-aged roommates with oil-and-water personalities. But change the genders and set things in today’s world and you’ve got a much darker, more acrid and more trenchant take on the subject.

In fact, in its West Coast premiere at South Coast Repertory, Jen Silverman’s “The Roommate” offers an often rueful reflection on the vast distances society has traveled since the early ’60s.

The high tides of women’s and LGBT rights and digital technology might have lifted all boats, but as Silverman and director Martin Benson show, a few key elements may have been lost in the process – the close bonds of family and lifelong friendships key among them.

We’re at a spacious farmhouse in Iowa City, where 54-year-old Sharon (Linda Gehringer), who has been at loose ends for a few years,…

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