"Rumors" is a Philip thing
The high-society party for Charley and Myra’s tenth wedding anniversary starts with a bang. The first party guests arrive to find Charley upstairs out cold with a gunshot through his ear, and they can’t find Myra at all. Those are the boring facts; now come the hilarious speculations and rumors, which is what this comedy is all about.
Team directed by Diane Walker, Mark Ford and Marcy Ramsey, this two-act play uses laughable antics to show the human frailties of ritzy people who behave just like everyone else – gossiping, bickering, complaining and all.
Almost all the characters in this Philip Drama Group play seem to get injured. The servants are missing, though the stock in the bar is not ... yet. Sarcasm and speculations run wild. “Rumors,” by Neil Simon, is a situation comedy poking fun at interpersonal relationships in the rip-roaring style of “The Odd Couple”.
The first guests, Ken and Chris, almost panic, but decide to try and keep everything quiet until they can first get the real story from Charley. People’s reputations are at stake. These guests, played by Glenn Parsons and Cyndie Nuzum respectively, back out of a sticky phone call with a doctor only to have to side-step awkward conversation with the next guests.
Claire Ganz, played by Kelly Baxter, rushes in to take care of a fat lip received in a car accident on the way to the party. Her husband, Lenny, played by Del Bartels, finally comes in, already playing up his whiplash injury. The car accident becomes the subject of a later investigation that endangers exposing the gunshots fired before the party.
Rumors fly and the hilarious explosion of gossip is almost out of control. Then, Ernie and Cookie Cusack arrive. Played by Joe Gittings and Carmen Fees respectively, the couple unbelievably doesn’t catch on to the ever-growing deceptions. Cookie even volunteers to whip up a superb meal, despite her chronic back spasms, and Ernie gets roped into helping serve. While in the kitchen, ... well, accidents do happen.
Another gunshot, accidental, temporarily deafens Ken. Then the state senate candidate, Glen Cooper, and his exceedingly suspicious and jealous wife, Cassie, arrive. Mark Ford and Danae Adair play the volatile couple. He receives a nose injury and she loses her crystal on which she is emotionally dependent. Despite all this, the dinner party goes on.
The doctor, who is being continually called on the telephone, wisely gives up.
Covering up the possible suicide attempt to keep everyone’s reputation in tact becomes incredibly difficult when two police officers arrive. Guest’s identities are switched and even more stories are created. The two police officers, played by Lydia Schulz and Shirley Sharp become disbelieving and frustrated. Like the rumors, the laughter never ends.