Neil Simon’s one and only comedy to hit Community Theatre League

PHOTO PROVIDED
In this photo by Isaac J. Conner, The cast of “Rumors” rehearses for their upcoming performances 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10-11, 16-18 and 2 p.m. Nov. 19.

PHOTO PROVIDED In this photo by Isaac J. Conner, The cast of “Rumors” rehearses for their upcoming performances 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10-11, 16-18 and 2 p.m. Nov. 19.

For many years, the Community Theatre League, 100 W. Third St., has included a farce in their season and this year will be no different as the league presents Neil Simon’s “Rumors” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10-11, 16-18 and 2 p.m. Nov. 19.

“Rumors” premiered at the Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, California) on Sept. 22, 1988 and opened on Broadway in November of 1988 at the Broadhurst Theatre and then transferred to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre where it closed after 535 performances and eight previews.

It won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play (Christine Baranski) and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design. It was Neil Simon’s only farce.

In 1988, Neil Simon spoke about how this play was “cathartic” for him as he was going through difficult times in his life. He thought it would be good to get into a comedy for once.

CTL office administrator Philip Vonada seems to agree with Simon. “It’s a nice break from reality, to see these people dealing with impossible situations in a heightened manner, and with such catastrophically funny results,” he said.

The play starts with Ken Gorman and his wife, Chris at the 10th anniversary party of Charlie Brock, the Deputy Mayor of New York. Things start to go bad from the beginning and soon everything escalates out of control when Charlie shoots himself in the head and other guests start arriving.

The Gormans try to get their stories straight before guests start to ask questions, but things continue to become more and more twisted as the play goes on. In this comedy of errors, the audience is left to wonder: Will everyone be able to get things sorted, or will the truth be found out?

Kahlie DeHotman, who is making her Mainstage directing debut, said the farce is ” … so good he [Simon] never needed to write another one. This show is wildly fast paced, careening out of control from the moment the lights come up all the way to a massive, show stopping, comedic monologue right before the lights go out.”

It seems that some of DeHotman’s cast members agree. Billy Martel, who plays Ken Gorman, said, “Do you like ‘fun’ things? Do you like ‘laughing’? If either of these concepts are familiar to you, or if you are interested in getting involved in these activities, then this is the show for you!”

Claudia Sacavage, who plays Cookie, said farces are “always a good way to relax and de-stress especially before the craziness of the holiday season is in full swing.”

DeHotman went on to point out that she is excited because “I love working with casts full of actors from wildly different backgrounds and levels of training. Where else would that be possible other than community theatre? I’ve seen each and every one of them grow as artists and each has been so eager and excited to be a part of this show. I intentionally cast many actors in roles that I knew would force them to stretch outside of their comfort zones and each of them has risen to the occasion. They’ve supported each other and lifted one another up every step of the way.”

This time around, the cast features familiar Community Theatre League performers, as well as cast members Paul Young, Olivia Karschner, and Andrew Confair who are brand new to the company. Other cast members include Billy Martel and Liz Snow as Ken and Chris Gorman, Travis Corter and Danielle Velkoff as Lenny and Clair Ganz, as well as Claudia Sacavage, Christopher Ericson and Ellie Doty.

So if you’re looking for a bit of fun before the frantic holiday season starts, check out Community Theatre Leagues rendition of “Rumors.”

“Rumors” is produced through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

For more information, call 570-327-1777 or visit www.ctlshows.com.

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