Log In

Reset Password

Theater Review: TheatreWorks New Milford Delivering Laughs At Breakneck Speed



Text Size

NEW MILFORD — The definition of theatrical farce is a comedic piece using highly improbable situations, stereotyped characters, exaggeration, and horseplay.

Theatergoers can find all of those elements broadly on display in TheatreWorks New Milford’s current production of Michael Cooney’s Cash on Delivery. Directed by Gene Golaszewski, Cash delivers the typical and predictable farce structure at breakneck speed.

The show centers around Eric Swan (played by Joel Michael), who has been scamming the British welfare system for years claiming every benefit he can for fictional people who live at his address. When an investigator from the welfare office shows up at his door looking to verify his claims, hilarity ensues.

Michael’s frantic energy and casual line delivery, to cover his tracks, lead the audience to root for him in the end. Even though the character is a con artist, Michael’s loveable portrayal makes you hope that it all works out for him in the end.

Swan’s “partner in crime” is his upstairs tenant, Norman Macdonald (Patrick Kelly). The two have great chemistry together and Kelly gets tasked with another trope of the farce that will not be spoiled here, but is very fun to watch during the climax of the play. Pulls it off with great ease.

Veteran actor Ron Malyszka plays the befuddled welfare investigator George Jenkins to perfection. There could not be an actor more suited for this role.

Every time Malyszka gets shoved into a door or ushered to the roof of the building to get rid of him, the audience sits on the edge of their seats waiting for his return.

Fellow veteran actor Jeff Rossman plays Swan’s Uncle George. While he gets knocked out pretty early in the play, his presence looms over the show and provides for some very funny antics. His bit at the end of the show involving an undertaker and a stretcher is one of the best moments of the show.

Joe Harding also provides much needed levity during the “B” plot of the show. He is psychiatrist Dr Chapman, who is brought in by Swan’s wife to investigate non-welfare-related suspicions she has about her husband.

Harding was built for farce. His facial expressions and physicality add a whole other layer to the show. While his is a minor character, Harding makes the most of every moment he is on stage and is a joy to watch.

The set is a relatively bare living room with only a couch and a small chair providing places to sit. While it is understandable why there is not much to the set itself — the cast is so big and needs room to move around swiftly — without more furniture there seemed to be missed opportunities for more comedic moments. Overall, that is a minor issue in comparison to the many, many wonderfully staged moments of the show.

The cast is rounded out by Marnie D’Uva, Kristin Aug, Kimberly Marcus, Gale Alexander and Laura O’Brien, who all add wonderful energy to the piece.

Sue Haneman has once again provided wonderful costumes. Lighting Design is by Leif Smith and the show is stage managed by Valerie Lorimer.

For a night of silly escapism, this show is perfect. Living up to its name, not only is the cash on delivery, this show delivers many, many laughs as well.

Performances continue weekends to May 27. Visit theatreworks.us for curtain details, tickets, and more information.

With a relatively bare set, TheatreWorks New Milford is filling its space with laughs thanks to its current production of Michael Cooney’s Cash on Delivery. Uncle George (Jeff Rossman, on the couch), goes down early in the show, but continues to provide humor, as does the storyline carried by (from left) Dr Chapman (Joe Harding), Eric Swan (Joel Michael), and Linda Swan (Marina D’Uva). —Ghostlight Photography photo
Directed by Gene Golaszewski, the cast of TheatreWorks New Milford’s Cash on Delivery is the living definition of theatrical farce. —Ghostlight Photography photo
Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply