Greg Collier, Susan Crocker, Kelly Kapp, & Candy Thomas in Rumors.
Photo courtesy of Mind’s Eye Theatre Company
By Neil Simon
Directed by Gerry Rose
Review by Annette Skaggs
Entire contents copyright © 2015 Annette Skaggs. All rights reserved.
If you are at all familiar with any of Neil Simon’s works, then you know that the comedic pace is often frenzied and quick. Such was the case with the Mind’s Eye Theatre Company’s take on the 1988 classic, Rumors.
Set in a chi-chi Palisades townhouse in New York, the Deputy Mayor, Charley Brock, has invited some of his friends to celebrate his 10 year anniversary to wife Myra.
On a functional and tasteful stage set we see guest Chris Gorman (Candy Thomas) walking nervously about the living room when her husband Ken (Tom Pettey) comes out of an upstairs door and calls down to his wife asking if the doctor has called. See, it seems that when the Gormans arrived, they arrived to the sound of a gunshot. The doctor calls and Ken, Charley’s attorney, prompts his wife through a string of lies to protect Charley. Once off the phone, the doorbell rings and Chris plays hostess to Lenny and Clare Ganz (Neil Mulac and Susan Crocker, respectively), Charley’s accountant. The Ganz’s were just involved in a car accident and are rattled by that, but are even more rattled by the fact that their hosts are not there, as Chris and Ken do their best to keep the incident in check. Upon the Ganz’s arrival, they notice that there isn’t any food and begin to inquire about the Brock’s help, Mai Li, who is missing also. Suspicions begin to mount. It isn’t long before Ernie and Cookie Cusak (Greg Collier and Kelly Kapp) arrive. Unbeknownst to them, they have knocked on the door of a house riddled with rumors and innuendos as all of the party guests have now formulated their own ideas about the honored hosts and their goings-on. But just to complicate things more, let’s add political hopeful Glenn Cooper (Brad Lambert) and his chakra-crystal loving wife, Cassie (Christina Biller). Well, no need to tell you that things get even more complicated.
It is a plot rife with twists and turns and hilarity and Mind’s Eye does a fine job of finding the subtle nuances that are often found in Simon’s plays.
All do a fine job at portraying their respective roles, but there are a few that absolutely shine. Kelly Kapp is a riot as addled and pained Cookie: contorting herself in all kinds of ways. Tom Pettey’s Ken is spot on as a victim and friend. But I have to say the actor who stole the show was Neil Mulac’s as Lenny Ganz. In the first act, I wasn’t so sure, as his accent and whiplash injury seemed to fade in and out, but during the second act, he exploded. His pretending to be Charley is one of the funniest, frenetic and zany monologues that I have seen on The Alley Theater’s stage.
Congratulations to all of the Mind’s Eye production crew. From well-placed props, synched up sounds, lights outside the window to reflect cars coming into the driveway and a lovely stage set. All fit and was well done.
So, if you like a dizzying comedy, run down to The Alley Theater and enjoy Rumors.
November 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, & 14 @ 7:30pm
November 15 @ 2:00pm
Mind’s Eye Theatre Company
At The Alley Theater
615 West Main Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
Annette Skaggs is a heavily involved Arts Advocate here in Louisville and freelance professional opera singer who has performed throughout Europe, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Boulder, Little Rock, Peoria, Chicago, New York and of course Louisville. Aside from her singing career she has been a production assistant for Kentucky Opera, New York Opera and Northwestern University. She has a 25+ year knowledge of the Classical Arts.