Rumors – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Chaos, confusion, complications and comedy are clearly on the menu as New Haven Theater Company has a rousing good time pulling off a farce, Neil Simon’s thoroughly engaging “Rumors” for your entertainment pleasure. Doors slamming are just a hint of things to come. A lot can run amok with Neil Simon at the helm. Weekends until Saturday, May 19 consider yourself invited to the tenth wedding anniversary party of Myra and Charley Brock.

Eat dinner at home before you come because there are no servants to prepare the repast. There are not even canapés or chips to nibble. What’s even more alarming is the host and hostess are nowhere to be found. And whatever you do don’t be on time because you might be the luck guests to find Charley with a gunshot wound. What would you do? Phone the police? Call an ambulance? Cause a scandal?

If you’re a doctor, are you prepared to handle the aforementioned gun shot wound-to the head-no less? whiplash? a sprained back? headache? shock? hearing loss? cut arms? hives? burnt fingers? Poor Chris (Jenny Schuck) and Ken (Peter Chenot) Gorman who ring the doorbell first. They find Charley passed out and bleeding from the head. Is it a botched suicide attempt? Did the missing Myra do it? What should the Gormans do as other guests start to arrive? Why lie, of course. And so the rumors fly.

Claire and Lenny Ganz (Susan Kulp and J. Kevin Smith) have problems of their own. They were involved in a car accident right before arriving, an incident that didn’t improve his two day old BMW. By the time Ernie and Cookie Cusack (John Watson and Margaret Mann) show up,gossip and innuendoes are flying fast and furiously. Will the thunder cloud of scandal affect the chances of Glenn Cooper (Jim Lones) who is running for state senator or will he be sabotaged by the angry wind that is his wife Cassie, (Suzanne Powers) who is out for vengeance.

By the time the police officers (Donna E. Glen and Matthew Kling) show up, it is anyone’s guess who is going to be arrested and on what charge. Not only does George Kulp build a great set for the up and downstairs action, he also directs this funny and fast race for the finish line. For tickets ($20), go online to newhaventheatercompany.com. The theater is at the back of English Market, 839 Chapel Street, New Haven Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Come and try to figure out who’s on first in the living room, what’s on fire in the kitchen. and where the heck are Charley and Myra?

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