Rumors — we all love to hear them. We like to get people’s take on them. Some of us like to spread them. Rarely, if ever, what starts the rumor is what makes it completely around the circle.
This month, The Cape Fear Regional Theatre takes a comic look at Rumors through the eyes of playwright Neil Simon, and if the show lives up to the interview, this is going to be one show you don’t want to miss.
Directed by Dirk Lumbard, a Cape Fear Regional Theatre veteran, the play revolves around the anniversary party of the deputy mayor of New York. Set in the ‘80s, the play puts the lives of the affluent under a microscope and opens it up for all of us to laugh at.
“We have an ideal cast for this production,” said Lumbard. “It was fantastically cast. This is a very strong cast. We have the best of Fayetteville’s talent, with a couple of New Yorkers thrown in.”
The play tells the story of four couples who are attending an anniversary party for their best friends. The play opens with the sound of gunshots, and where it goes from there is the stuff that comedy is made of.
“This is Neil Simon doing farce,” said Lumbard. “And it is excellent. We watch as everyone tries to cover-up what has happened and try to take care of their friend. It’s just a lot of fun.”
Lynne Rosenberg, a New York actress, plays the wife of Robbie Gay, a Wilmington, N.C., actor who had audiences rolling in the aisles in last year’s production of Peter Pan.
“We are both lawyers. Robbie plays a very by-the-book litigator, while I am more content to be behind the scenes,” explained Rosenberg. “So when we arrive at the party, I don’t know what to do so I proceed to medicate myself by getting riproaring drunk.”
As the attorney for the deputy mayor, Gay’s first thought is how to protect the politician’s reputation.
“I set the ball rolling,” said Gay. “I make up the first lie that we tell, but I haven’t communicated it to my wife. So we are both lying and trying to send clues to each other.”
The second couple to join the party is played by Bjorn Thorstad, also of New York, and the CFRT’s own Nicki Hart.
“We were in a wreck on the way to the party,” said Thorstad. “We arrive at the party thinking we are the victims.”
While they are at it, they add to the rumors by suggesting that the deputy mayor may have been having an affair.
Even though the story is set in 1987, Hart points out the relevance today with the stories that break on an almost daily basis about the personal lives of politicians.
“This play is still really relevant,” she said. “And this cast is phenomenal. You really have to be on it because they are all acting and reacting so quickly. We laugh at each other all the time.”
Lumbard noted that the four couples all have unique personalities, and that the audience will be able to identify them with people they know, maybe even themselves.
“You are definitely going to see somebody you know up on that stage,” said Lumbard.
CFRT’s production of Rumors runs from February 25-March 13. Tickets are $10 – preview; $18 – Fridays and $21 Saturdays; $16 – Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Show times are 8:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sunday evening. Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. CFRT’s traditional discounts of $1 are available for seniors 55 and older, active-duty military and their dependants on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturday matinees.
Buy your tickets online! Go to www.cfrt.org. To make reservations, call 910-323- 4233.