Neil Simon has penned the perfect remedy for the winter doldrums – giggles and guffaws galore in his hilarious door-slamming farce, Rumors. Stagecrafters presents the comic masterpiece March 13th through 29th onstage at the historic Baldwin Theatre, 415 S. Lafayette in downtown Royal Oak.
The stage is set for an anniversary dinner party in New York City at the lavish home of the Deputy Mayor Charlie Brock. Ken Gorman (Eric Roman of Clinton Township) and his wife, Chris (Kendall Doman of Bloomfield Hills), are the first to arrive. Ken discovers Charlie bleeding in his bedroom from a fumbled suicide attempt, and neither the kitchen staff nor his wife, Myra, can be found. Fearing how the media would react, Ken and Chris decide to conceal the event from the other guests. As each couple arrives, four in all, white lies and rumors begin circulating. Being this is a farce, mayhem, madcap antics and miscommunication ensue. And, of course, there are several slamming doors!
“Sometimes you don’t choose the play, it chooses you. Rumors chose me!” says director Richard Wilson of Royal Oak. He decided to submit a director application for Rumors after reading the script. “I started laughing on page 10 and didn’t stop until the end of the play,” he says. While Wilson finds the play “hysterically funny,” it’s not without its hurdles. “The biggest challenge with Rumors, as with any farce, is timing. We have the assistant stage managers working backstage to insure that entrances and exits are timed perfectly. If the entrances aren’t spot on, the show will lose its effect,” continues Wilson.
Interesting sidenotes: Simon gave the four wives names that begin with C – Chris, Claire, Cookie and Cassie and three of the four husbands are given rhyming names – Ken, Len and Glenn. Wilson has a unique aspect as well, as two of the wives in the show are played by a mother and daughter.
Neil Simon wrote the play, his first farce, during a very difficult time in his life and relied on the scripting process as his own medicine and cathartic release. Rumors premiered at the Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, CA) in September 1988 and made its Broadway debut in November that year with Lisa Banes, Christine Baranski, Ken Howard and Joyce Van Patten in the original cast. Baranski won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Chris Gorman. Simons also wrote the popular plays Brighton Beach Memoirs, Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple, which have all been mounted by Stagecrafters in past seasons.
Patrons attending the March 13 opening night performance are invited to attend the 7 pm
pre-glow of complimentary light hors d’oeuvres, compliments of Prontos of Royal Oak and beverages compliments of Stagecrafters.
Advance tickets for performances are $18 on Thursdays, $20 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tickets may be purchased online at www.stagecrafters.org (online handling fees apply) or by phone at 248-541-6430using Visa or MasterCard. All seats are reserved and there are no refunds or exchanges on individual tickets. If shows have not sold out, tickets can be purchased at the box office one hour prior to the performance for an additional $2 per ticket. Student, military and senior discounts are available for specific performances. The Baldwin Theatre is located at 415 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak.
Show dates and times follow:
Friday, March 13 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 14 8:00 pm
Sunday, March 15 2:00 pm
Thursday, March 19 8:00 pm
Friday, March 20 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 21 8:00 pm
Sunday, March 22 2:00 pm
Thursday, March 26 8:00 pm
Friday, March 27 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 28 8:00 pm
Sunday, March 29 2:00 pm
Stagecrafters, a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit community theatre, is in its 59th year of providing opportunities for members of the community to develop their talents and to volunteer their time to create an enriching, quality theatrical experience through its Main Stage, 2nd Stage, and Youth Theatre productions. At the Baldwin Theatre since 1985, Stagecrafters has been named Best Community Theatre by Hour Detroit, Real Detroit Weekly and Daily Tribune.
Stagecrafters offers shows that appeal to a wide variety of ages and interests and prides itself on providing professional quality shows at affordable prices, making the performing arts accessible to individuals in our “regional” community.