Rumors – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

You are cordially invited to attend a dinner party at the home of Charley and Myra Brock to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their marriage. Presents are optional.

Chaos, confusion, complications and comedy are clearly on the menu as Center Stage Theatre of Shelton has a rousing good time pulling off a farce, Neil Simon’s thoroughly engaging “Rumors” for your entertainment pleasure. Doors slamming, and doorbells and telephones ringing are just a hint of things to come. A lot can run amok with Neil Simon at the helm. Weekends until Sunday, October 22 consider yourself welcome for the festivities.

Eat dinner at home before you arrive 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 lucky 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 (Maria Mongilo) and Ken (Kyle Alston) Gorman 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 (Denise Piana and Stephen King) 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 ( David Kaminski and Angela Mantero) show up, gossip and innuendoes are flying fast and furiously. Will the thunder cloud of scandal affect the chances of Glenn Cooper (Scott Sheldon) who is running for state senator or will he be sabotaged by the angry wind that is his wife Cassie, (Brianna B.Dawson) who is out for vengeance.

By the time the police officers (Joey Abate and Claire Fracasse) show up, it is anyone’s guess who is going to be arrested and on what charge. Not only does Ron Baldwin build a great set for the up and downstairs action, Rob Esposito directs this funny and fast race for the finish line. The theater is at 54 Grove Street, Shelton, and for tickets call 203-225-6079 or online at Performances are Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m.and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 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?