Neil Simon’s “Rumors” opens a three-weekend run Jan. 9 at the Players Guild of Dearborn, 21730 Madison. Show times are 8 p.m. Jan. 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 and 24 and 2:30 p.m. Jan. 11, 18 and 25. For tickets and more information, call 313 561-TKTS or go to playersguildofdearborn.org.
Marc Walentowicz of Garden City, who directs the show, said “Rumors” appeals to him because he thinks it is Neil Simon’s funniest play.
“This is Neil Simon’s only farce,” Walentowicz said. “But what they all have in common is all the characters have heart. This is way more silly, but they are still grounded in reality. That is a Neil Simon trait. No matter what, you care about all of his characters.”
The show is set in the 1980s, and they are taking advantage of the hair and costumes of the era. He said the plot would unfold much differently if the characters all used cell phones as they would today.
Walentowicz said the cast is hysterically funny, and he has had fun watching rehearsals.
“I have watched it 20, 30 times now, and I laugh my butt off every single time,” he said. “It is cliché, but it is so funny. You say it is a comedy, and you might chuckle here and there, but it is like beginning to end laugh-out-loud funny.”
One of the characters in the thick of the farce is Cassie Cooper, played by Lindsey Brenz of Troy. Cassie, the trophy wife of a politician running for the state senate, does not want to be at the party and is angry with her husband.
Brenz said the Neil Simon show has a strong script and is wonderfully entertaining.
“There are so many funny moments that we as a cast embrace,” she said.
In a very different female role is Carissa Madley of Redford Township as Officer Pudley, a rookie cop, who focuses on finding the clues and keeping the guests off balance when she questions them.
“I think in some parts of the play you are figuring things out or you are starting to blame one particular person or thing, and then you get completely discombobulated,” Madley said. “But the fun part about it is it is so funny that it doesn’t bother you.”
Kenyada Davis of Detroit, who plays Ernie Cusack, is also a Neil Simon fan, and he expects a lot of audience laughter.
“In the beginning it is a lot of word play, of course, and then things start getting a little zany and crazy as most farces do,” Davis said. “It just breaks into hilarity, so it is a lot of fun to play.”
Also in the cast are: Nick Szczerba of Brownstown Township as Officer Welch; Dearborn residents Phillip Booth as Glenn Cooper, Alex Gojkov as Lenny Ganz, and Margaret Kinnell as Cookie Cusack; Sarah Zakaria of Farmington Hills as Chris Gorman; and Nick Graham of Van Buren Township as Ken Gorman.
Cory Chambless of Plymouth is assistant director, with Chris and Tracey Boudreau of Dearborn as producers and Inez Hernandez of Ecorse costuming the show.
Photo by Sue Suchyta: The Players Guild of Dearborn presents Neil Simon’s “Rumors” Jan. 9 to 11, 16 to 18 and 23 to 25 with Carissa Madley (left) of Redford Township as Officer Pudney, Lindsey Brenz of Troy as Cassie Cooper, Nick Graham of Van Buren Township as Ken Gorman and Kenyada Davis of Detroit as Ernie Cusask.