Reviewed by Stephanie Johnson
Neil Simon’s Chapter Two is not typical Simon fare as it delves into the emotional heartland of relationships.
The familiar lightning fast one-liners are still present, but this chapter of Simon’s career has produced a play where the one-liners often carry the sting of painful relationship reality just as much as the uplifting wit to which Simon fans are accustomed.
Galleon has produced an absorbing production with Director Kym Clayton ensuring that the pace is fast on a top-notch set designed by Steve Kelly.
Sharon Pitardi shines as Jennie, who has recently dissolved her marriage of six-years. Pitardi ably portrays a self-contained woman who is hurting and coming to terms with the end of her marriage as well as the joys of moving forward.
Andrew Clark also gives a strong and moving performance as recently widowed George Schneider.
Initially resistant, both succumb to the match-making efforts of their nearest and dearest and enter into a fine romance with all of the ups and downs that this entails. This is a powerful story that pulls no punches. It pulsates with all of the tenderness, excitement, hope, joy and pain that are associated with love.
Pitardi and Clark are enthralling as they convey the force of this Simon script through these very recognisable characters.
Aldo Longobardi and Lana Adamuszek provide excellent moments as George’s brother Leo and Jennie’s friend Faye. Their timing is excellent and they pitch their humour in a way that adds rather than detracts from the central force of this play. Nevertheless they also have their own story as these four characters search for love, happiness and true connection.