Nominated for Best Comedy
2016 / 2017 ATG "Curtain Call" Awards
Allen and Michelle have been living together for eighteen months. It is the first real relationship for both of them. Michelle thinks they should marry; Allen isn't sure. His hesitancy drives her home to her parents for advice. Michelle's Father isn't aware that it is Allen's mother he has been seeing for the last six months and would now like to get rid of, nor does Michelle's mother know that it is Allen's father she has just spent the night with and would like to see more of. The pieces fall uproariously into place when the parents decide to meet the young lovers over dinner to lend their maturity and experience for the benefit of their children's relationship. It's suddenly everyone for himself in this wild, rollicking look at love and romance.
Written By : Michael Jacobs
Directed by : Brian Godfrey
Performance Dates - at the Domain Theatre
Thursday 27th October 2016 to Saturday 29th October 2016 8.00pm
Thursday 3rd November 2016 to Saturday 5th November 2016 8.00pm
Saturday 5th November 2.00pm
Preview Wednesday 26th October 2016 8.00pm
Adelaide Theatre Guide Review
"Cheaters", written by Michael Jacobs, is an Adelaide premiere and a very good choice to add to the growing reputation of Galleon Theatre Group for presenting quality productions.
Director Brian Godfrey has assembled an excellent cast of regulars as well as some newcomers to the Galleon family. The play is a comedic look at the quite serious repercussions of cheating which, without a strong cast and clear direction, could easily descend into farce. It doesn't. The pace is good and while, overall, it is hilarious, there are moments which cause the audience to reflect on the often serious consequences of cheating on your wife or husband.
The experienced Lindsay Dunn is wonderful as Howard, bored in his marriage but seeming to have more problems with his 'mistress'. Andrew Clark delivers a faultless performance as Sam, while Sharyn de Zolt as Monica has some delightful moments. Anita Canala brings Grace to life with understanding and finesse, once again demonstrating her superb understanding of comedy. Brittany Daw does a good job, as does Simon Lancione, as Michelle and Allen, the young couple who ultimately bring all of the characters together.
The Marion Cultural Centre is home to a wonderful theatre which Galleon make such excellent use of. The set, designed by Kym Clayton and constructed by the usual band of willing helpers, looks appealing and functions extremely well.
When this play first opened on Broadway it only ran for a month because Michael Jacobs wasn't happy with it. The changes he made have certainly worked. Galleon's production of "Cheaters" is a delightful theatrical experience and all involved should be congratulated.
Reviewed by Janice Bailey
Broadway World Review
Galleon Theatre Company is currently presenting Cheaters, by Michael Jacobs, under the astute direction of the highly experienced, Brian Godfrey. The initial run on Broadway in 1978 lasted only a month and, even with the playwright's later changes, it is no masterpiece, ending in pure schmaltz, but Godfrey and his cast manage to turn it into a very entertaining evening.
Howard and Monica have been having an affair for six months, and argue like an old married couple, which they are, but not to each other. Sam and Grace each went alone to the cinema and their eyes met across the seats, ending up with them in a hotel room at the beginning of an affair. They, too, are both married. Allen and Michelle have been living together for eighteen months and she feels that the time has come to consider making it permanent and official, through marriage, but he is uncertain and reluctant, causing tensions. They each consult their parents, but nothing is resolved and so they decide that it is time that their respect parents finally met over dinner. There is just one small problem; Howard and Grace are Michelle's parents, and Sam and Monica are Allen's parents.
Howard is played by Lindsay Dunn, and his paramour, Monica, by Sharyn De Zolt. Dunn makes Howard a grumpy old man who is tired of his marriage and routine but, clearly, has already thought better of his affair with Monica. De Zolt's Monica is an angry and bossy woman intent on divorcing her husband and marrying Howard, putting pressure on him to get a move on and tell his wife. Together, they generate plenty of laughs
Sam is played by Andrew Clark, and Anita Canala plays Grace. These two have performed together on a number of occasions for Galleon, and it shows in the easy rapport in their performances together. Clark's Sam is very much the neglected husband, not so much actively looking for somebody else, and a little nervous about the suddenness of the circumstances. Canala's Grace is equally awkward about the situation. They provide plenty of fun as they hesitate and offer each other a way out, eventually going ahead.
Michelle is played by Brittany Daw, with Allen played by Simon Lancione. Daw gives us a Michelle with a ticking body clock, worrying that if they do not marry things might deteriorate and leave her on the shelf. Her pressure to move forward frightens Allen and Lancione tries to quick talk his way out of it. Initially he tends to caricature but, eventually, settles down into the role. Perhaps this overplaying was due to opening night nerves and, hopefully, will fade after a performance or two.
All in all, there are lots of laughs to be had and, as the company performs in cabaret format, having a glass or two and munching on supper before the performance and during the interval adds to the whole experience. Not surprisingly, the company has a good following of regular patrons and early bookings are recommended.
A bit of unexpected excitement came just ten minutes before the final curtain when the fire alarm sounded and we all had to evacuate the venue. Eventually, we were readmitted, and the cast valiantly skipped back a couple of pages and went on to finish the performance in true professional style.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny
GLAM Adelaide Review
Michael Jacobs' comedy about relationships is an interesting diversion for a couple of hours, maybe the examination of commitment and fidelity is not an in-depth study, but it is funny. Brian Godfrey's cast give fine performances on Kym Clayton's well-designed set which manages to change smoothly from hotel to home (several homes) with ease.
The cheating husbands, played by Lindsay Dunn and Andrew Clark are different. Howard (Dunn) is bluff, a bit of a bully and self-absorbed. Sam (Clark) is sensitive and a bit downtrodden and cares about everyone. Their wives are very different, Sharyn De Zolt plays Monica a loud demanding woman and Anita Canala is Grace, completely controlled by her bulling husband. The young couple on the brink of marriage, Michelle (Brittany Daw) and Allen (Simon Lancione) are confused and hesitant, a typical state for those who wonder whether to take the next step.
Dunn puts in his usual strong performance, managing to find the comedy in his character and Clark is just right, managing to be sensitive but not soft; great performances from both. The ladies are equally good, although De Zolt is less convincing when she is drunk. Canala underplays Grace beautifully balancing the roles well. Daw is bright and well cast as Michelle, but needs to work on her enunciation a little. Lancione is the right amount of confused and puts in a good performance.
The play moves at a good pace, maybe a bit slow in the beginning, but the opening night extra interval with guest performers from the Emergency Services was unplanned! Thankfully it was a false alarm, but kudos to the players who took it all n their stride and didn't stop until told to leave the building, despite the very loud alarm. This was a new diversion for Galleon as I am assured it has never happened before.
This theatre company presents good comedies and this is no exception. A fun night of comedy with a welcoming group, which I think you will agree is well worth a visit.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Stage Whispers Review
Galleon recently won the Adelaide Theatre Guide Best Comedy Award for its 2015 production of Neil Simon's Rumours and is currently presenting yet another of its twice-yearly comedy treats, Michael Jacobs' Cheaters, directed by Brian Godfrey.
Cheaters is a hoot; entirely predictable, but hilarious nevertheless.
Michelle wants to be married, but live-in boyfriend Allen is unsure and won't commit; does Michelle really want him or is she just in love with the idea of marriage? Their mothers and fathers are not much support, because unknown to Michelle and Allen, all four parents have their own problems-they are cheating outside their marriages. The ensuing complications of these various angst-laden relationships come together in a farcical second act that has the audience in stitches.
Lindsay Dunn is very funny as hapless Howard, a man who has let an extra-marital affair run perhaps a little too long. Andrew Clark is also very good as Sam, a man pining for his first love. Clark's performance is up to his usual fine standard.
Anita Canala is excellent as novice cheater Grace and knows just how to use physical comedy to delicious effect, as demonstrated in the second act. Sharyn De Zolt is hilarious as long-time mistress Monica. De Zolt's drunken strut around the stage in the second act brings roars of laughter, however her American accent is a little hit and miss.
Brittany Daw presents Michelle as an understated, sensible foil to the out-of-control parents and does this exceptionally well. Simon Lancione does a good job of the conflicted boyfriend Allen, but perhaps overdoes his expressions of mortified confusion, for example when his parents argue loudly in front of him.
Some actors have moments when they are difficult to hear from the mezzanine seating. This is due at times to not pausing during loud laughter, but for the female actors in particular, it's also caused by lack of projection. Each issue, though minor, could easily be corrected.
Director Brian Godfrey uses the stage to its full potential and ensures the cracking pace needed for this type of play is present at all times and builds as the action becomes more manic.
The set is well-designed, allowing the backstage crew to work seamlessly and quickly to help create the setting changes, from various hotel rooms to Michelle and Allen's apartment and even the parents' living rooms. Lighting, sound, costumes, hair and makeup are all achieved with Galleon's usual seemingly effortless professionalism.
The cheating couples on stage during the second act are intended to suffer a dinner of unappetising hot dogs, but the overall meal of comedy fare served up to the audience by Galleon is the cherry on the cake; Cheaters is very satisfying and very, very funny.
Reviewed by Lesley Reed
Theatre Association of SA (TASA) Review
Director Brian Godfrey and his cast have done well to draw this quirky little comedy together. Michael Jacobs' script is pretty wordy and slow moving during the establishment phase of Act 1, and only really gets going in the second Act when the anticipated embarrassing face-off unravels.
The plot concerns two couples' mutual infidelity and the irony of the love of their children for each other. The central issues of life-long commitment and the questions that raises are thoroughly canvassed, all within the apparently contrasting framework of both serious dialogue and light farce. For much of the play there is not much natural chemistry between these characters and all players captured that.
Andrew Clark played Sam with his accustomed skill and subtlety, credibly showing in turns both insecurity and amorous zeal. Anita Canala succeeded as Grace. She maintained the right balance in dealing with her conflicted feelings for both Sam and her husband, Howard. Lindsay Dunn was a self-obsessed and intolerant Howard, and Sharyn De Zolt had some good moments as the flamboyant and wilful Monica, Sam's wife. She had some of the plays best gags and delivered them confidently, but her drunken sequence was less convincing.
As the young couple, Simon Lancione did well to show Allen's insecurity and soul-searching, while Brittany Daw was a charming, nicely understated and sincere Michelle.
All this took place within Kym Clayton's simple, well-crafted set which used the available space of the Domain Theatre stage to good effect.
Reviewed by Dave Smith