Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Stage Door: Rumors (reviews)

Stage Door Theater opened its production of Neil Simon's Rumors on October 19, 2012.
The deputy mayor of New York City and his wife are celebrating their 10th anniversary with an elegant party.

But when the guests arrive, the host has seemingly attempted suicide and the hostess is missing. Each arriving couple adds something new and twisted to the gossip and the cover-up.

One of Simon’s funniest works—wild, fast-paced hilarity.
Dan Kelly directed a cast that included Jill Taylor Anthony, Richard Brundage, Niki Fridh, Matthew Korinko, Christine DeFrece, Stephen Michael Guice, Leah Sessa, Glen Lawrence, Christopher DePaola, and John Michael Gordon.

Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
Now at the Stage Door Theatre in Coral Springs, the play has all the elements on a farce checklist: seven doors to slam (or not), stairs that will require one character to run up and down all evening (who needs a Stairmaster?), a crisis that drives the play, eight upper-class characters intent on avoiding or denying the truth. And, of course, a script full of deceptions, absurdities and laughs.
Spilling the specifics of the Rumors plot – most work, some don’t – wouldn’t be fair to audiences who deserve to discover them in the moment. But director Dan Kelley and his large cast (which also includes Christopher DePaola and John Michael Gordon as inquisitive cops) deliver a solid, well-acted farce.
The actors all deliver their characters with persuasive style, but three give standout performances. Lawrence’s Glenn is droll and manipulative, deadpan in the face of Cassie’s mounting rage. Fridh lands Claire’s her acid-tinged lines with deadly accuracy. And Korinko gets and makes the most of the play’s tour de force speech, Lenny’s lengthy account of the evening’s activities, a fake story that he seems to be making up as he goes along. That’s terrific acting.
Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
Director Dan Kelley and an energetic cast race lickety-split down that groove of classic sketch comedy wackiness: A bunch of silly people struggle to cope with an absurdly deteriorating situation, marked by an ever-increasing spiral of anxiety and a torrent of witty repartee. So there’s no question that the chuckles and chortles are plentiful in their hands, thanks to some pretty dead-on comic timing from the cast.
The two most impressive performers are Korinko and Fridh  playing the tax accountant and his wife. Fridh gets many of Simon’s subversive jabs at the monied class, firing off rejoinders with the dry, arch topspin of an Elaine Stritch.  Korinko... projects the charm and charisma of a leading man along with a facility for Simon’s call-and-response humor masquerading as dialogue.
While this still is not Simon’s funniest work, second-string Simon is better than many folks’ masterworks.
Rumors plays at the Broward Stage Door Theatre through November 11, 2012.

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