The new Brazos Valley theater season begins tonight when StageCenter in Downtown Bryan begins a three-week run of Cheaters, a comedy by Michael Jacobs.
Cheaters is the story of a young couple, Michelle and Allen, who have been living together for 18 months. Michelle wants to get married, but Allen is hesitant. Michelle turns to her parents for advice without knowing her father is involved with Allen’s mother, and her mother is involved with Allen’s father, although neither parent knows of the other’s outside relationship. The parents plan a dinner with Allen and Michelle to show them how mature people act, but the dinner goes horribly awry, with hysterical consequences.
Director Chaz Pitman said, “I was trying to think of something fun to kick off the new season, and ran across the script in my ‘library.’
“StageCenter did the show some 20 years ago or more, when it was in its North Main Street location.”
Pitman said, “As I was perusing, I realized I’d forgotten just how funny it was. Every page yielded a chuckle, if not an outright guffaw, and I thought it might be time to do a reprise.”
Cheaters will play Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at StageCenter’s home at 218 N. Main St. in Downtown Bryan. All tickets on Thursdays are $10, while tickets for Fridays and Saturdays are $12 for adults and seniors and $15 for everyone else. They may be purchased online at stagecenter.net or at the door, if any remain.
Pitman said due to content and some costumes “that are a bit risque,” Cheaters is not appropriate for children.
He said the audience “can expect to be entertained. They can expect to laugh a lot.
“It has a few moments that are sweet and a little poignant, but for the most part it’s just an outrageously funny comedy.”
The Cheaters cast includes Shalan Raabe as Michelle and Stephen Woodruff as Allen. Also in the cast are Evelyn Callaway, Peter Rocha, John W. Baldwin, Sandra Lys and Wanda Mason.
In addition to Pitman, the crew includes Wanda Mason, assistant director; Ann Collins, stage manager; Jamie Everett, assistant stage manager; Pitman, lighting design and sound; Irina Shatruk, lighting operation; Mark Bendiksen, original music; Harold Presley, preacher on the radio; cast and crew, costumes and props; Cindy Roberts and Kevin Parker, additional props and set pieces; Callaway and Pitman, set design; Calloway, Chris MacCannell, Larry Pelzl, Shatruk and John W. Baldwin, set construction; Jennifer Hargis, consultant for programs and graphics; and Alan Bryant, program photography.
A fun fact relayed by Pitman: The first StageCenter production of Cheaters marked the introduction to community theater of one of the area’s favorite actors, J. Paul Teel, He didn’t act in that production but ran the sound board.