I LOVED IT!!!
I know you are supposed to lead up to an opinion, but Neil Simon’s "RUMORS" at the Group Rep is hilariously funny, has an amazing cast, and an artful, smart and fast paced script by Neil Simon. Plus, Doug Engalla’s directing has completely transported us into this farcical play.
Doug Haverty, LizAnne Keigley
Now, let me set the scene. Five influential couples are getting together to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Charley and Myra. First to arrive is Ken and Chris Gorman (Fox Carney and Debi Tinsley) who hear a shot, and find Charley has shot himself in the ear. Yes, ear! He’s alive, but there is blood everywhere. When Charley’s doctor calls, Ken and Chris try desperately to not let on that Charley has been shot. Lenny and Claire Ganz (Kent Butler and Cheryl Crosland) are next to arrive, but have just suffered a car accident with Lenny’s new BMW. So Lenny is frenzied about the car and now needs to deal with Charley shooting himself in the ear. It turns out that Ken’s doctor is also Lenny’s doctor. Hmm!!!
But wait, there’s more. Ernie and Cookie Cusack (Doug Haverty and LizAnne Keigley) are members of Charley’s tennis club, with Cookie being a TV chef, and a clumsy one at that. Finally, Glenn Cooper (Todd Andrew Ball) and Cassie Cooper (Hisato Masuyama-Ball) arrive with a dramatic flair. To complicate things, Charley is the Deputy Mayor of New York, so discretion is very important. The cops eventually arrive (Robert McCollum and Judy Rosenfeld) with many questions asked. All the cast successfully runs with the chaotic fun and fast-paced dialogue. Finally, we never see Charley or Myra, but by the end of this play, we feel like we have.
Fox Carney, Debi Tinsley
Direction is fantastic by Doug Engalla. I can’t mention this enough. Sets, as usual, are fabulous by Chris Winfield. But all the elements, stage management, lighting, sound, costumes, are very well done.
Neil Simon has a vast list of outstanding work. Plays, TV and movies include: "Lost In Yonkers," "Barefoot in the Park," "Sweet Charity," "The Sunshine Boys," "Biloxi Blues," and of course, "The Odd Couple," to name only a very few.
"RUMORS" is silly, frantic at times, and ferociously funny, and is a MUST SEE. As I said at the beginning of this review, I LOVED IT!!! Run, run, run to the Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. Now more than ever we need a good laugh. "RUMORS" is a great laugh.
Cast: Todd Andrew Ball, Michele Bernath (7/20-7/29), Patrick Burke (7/13-7/15), Kent Butler, Fox Carney, Cheryl Crosland, Doug Haverty, LizAnne Keigley, Hisato Masuyama-Ball, Robert McCollum, Judy Rosenfeld, and Debi Tinsley
Director: Doug Engalla
Producer for the Group Rep: Alyson York
Set Design: Chris Winfield
Light Design: Addison Calvin
Costume Design: Angela M. Eads
Assistant Director: Sophie Lamzik
Stage Manager: John Ledley
Assistant Stage Manager: Janee Hull
Sound Design: Steve Shaw
Lights/Sound Operator: Joseph Marcelo
Production Photography/Videography: Doug Engalla
Public Relations: Nora Feldman
Graphic Design: Doug Haverty + Art & Soul Design
Lonny Chapman Theatre
10900 Burbank Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Tickets: www.thegrouprep.com or (818) 763-5990.
General Admission: $25. Seniors/Students with ID: $20. Groups 10+: $15.
Runs: Extended through August 11. Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 pm. Sunday Matinees at 2:00 pm.
Talkbacks after Sunday Matinees on June 24 and July 8.