RUMORS (BRT): 60-second review

(l-r) Eleanor Handley, Jo Twiss, Leonard C. Haas, and Bruce Graham in Bristol Riverside Theatre's production of Neil Simon's RUMORS. Photo by Mark Garvin.
(l-r) Eleanor Handley, Jo Twiss, Leonard C. Haas, and Bruce Graham in Bristol Riverside Theatre’s production of Neil Simon’s RUMORS. Photo by Mark Garvin.

New York City deputy mayor Charlie Brock and his wife Myra are hosting a posh party, but something is amiss. Ken Gorman (Danny Vaccaro) and his wife Chris (Valerie Leonard) are the first to arrive; they quickly discover that Myra is missing, the kitchen staff is gone, and Charlie has shot himself. The beautiful Bristol Riverside Theatre presents Neil Simon’s hilarious farce RUMORS.

The first act lays the groundwork for the show and introduces the characters, the plot, and the scene. The Gormans try to cover for the Brocks and pretend the party is underway as the other guests arrive: Glenn (Sean Thompson) and Cassie (Jessica Wagner) Cooper, Lenny (Leonard C. Haas) and Claire (Eleanor Handley) Ganz, Ernie Cusack (Bruce Graham), his eccentric wife Cookie (Jo Twiss). All the actors are on the mark with their characters’ eccentricities. However, the show didn’t really start for me until the second act, when comedy, drama, and overall hullabaloo ensue. As stories fall apart and the truth starts to spread, Officers Welch (Paul Weagraff) and Pudney (Joslynn Cortes) enter to bizarre mayhem. Weagraff and Cortes add humor and energy as they ring in the real meat of the story.

Jason Simms’s set is gorgeous. Director Keith Baker does a good job of navigating the story with his talented cast and crew and provides an entertaining night. [Bristol Riverside Theater, Bristol, PA]. March 22–April 17, 2016.


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