Neil Simon's 'Rumors' lands at Reserve

Neil Simon's 'Rumors' lands at Reserve

Join us for the WRA production of Rumors at the Knight Fine Arts Center (KFAC):

Friday, April 21 | 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 22 | 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 23 | 2 p.m.

Purchase your tickets at the door.

Amidst the chaos, confusion and conflicting stories rife in celebrated playwright Neil Simon's Rumors, there will be an abundance of hilarity to enjoy. The cast of this year's spring comedy are busy preparing for this playful performance, which is sure to leave audiences in stitches.

"Rumors is just a really good laugh," said Director and Fine & Performing Arts Department faculty member Donalee Ong. "The students love performing it, they love seeing it. We performed it eight or nine years ago, and it just felt like a good time to stage it again."

The play begins innocuously enough; Ken Gorman and his wife, Chris, are the first to arrive at a 10th anniversary dinner party, thrown by Charlie Brock, the Deputy Mayor of New York, and his wife, Myra. Shortly after their entry, the couple stumbles across something rather ghastly.

"They're doing a little snooping, and they find Charlie in his room with a gunshot through his earlobe — blood everywhere! — and Myra nowhere to be found," explained Ong. "As they deal with the trauma of helping him, the doorbell rings and the next couple arrives. Ken and Chris decide that they can't let anybody know, because Charlie is running for deputy mayor and this, of course, would be a huge scandal. As each additional couple arrives, the ability to keep it a secret becomes harder and harder."

It's a dinner party gone shockingly awry and, even with the gruesome display in the beginning, a delightful, hysterical comedy that is well worth attending.

"It's always a little harder when it's comedy," said Ong. "I think some people think it's easier, but it's actually a lot of work. You have to consider timing, you have to practice one moment over and over. It's difficult, but the work is enjoyable."

Since the entire show takes place in the home of a Deputy Mayor, there are no set changes. Instead, the crew is making a "box set," which is essentially a big box on the stage. This particular box is full of details to convey the luxurious grandeur of the upscale space — such as large windows, decorative moldings and more.

"From doing this show before, I knew it had a lot of doors opening and closing, people moving around," said Technical Theater Director Tom West. "We wanted the walls and platforms to be strong, so they didn't shake or shift with all this movement. I took this opportunity to start working with steel — it's stronger and lighter so there are no safety concerns, and it helps keep the whole structure from moving."

Both the cast and crew are hard at work as opening night approaches, balancing rehearsals, schoolwork and, for some, athletic practices, but the entertaining story makes for an incredibly fun atmosphere.

"There's a great energy with this cast," said Ong. "I've never had such a hard time saying, 'Okay, let's go, let's get started!' There's always so much goofing around and laughing. It's nine seniors and one junior, and they're very comfortable with each other. It's really a nice environment to be in, and I think they're doing a fabulous job."

This year's production stars Nick Harris '17, Sarah Jones '17, Zanna Leciejewski '17, Michael Malen '17, Elliot Ong '17, Joey Randazzo '17, Sidney Preston '17, Lexi Shoemaker '18, Chris Sprunt '17 and Annabelle Van Dort '17.

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