The Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood has produced over 300 plays including 70 world premieres and is approaching a half century of theatrical artistry. Its latest offering Rumorsby Neil Simon is yet another example of theatrical excellence. Of Neil Simon USA Todaywrote: “Neil Simon makes people laugh a lot!” True. But without superb acting all shows in general and Rumorsin particular could easily fall into disaster. Happily for The Group Rep they have once again succeeded in assembling an astonishingly brilliant cast for its presentation of Rumors.
The banter is fast paced often sharp and witty with a steady interplay amongst the cast. Almost every line is laugh inducing as the story is told, a story that is all the more hilarious because the audience can easily identify with the events being portrayed on stage.
An upscale couple is celebrating their wedding anniversary and they have invited several of their friends to the party. But before the party even has a chance to begin things start to fall apart when the first guest discovers that the man of the house has been injured apparently from a gunshot and the wife is missing. In search of what has happened the man begins to try and piece the puzzle together relying heavily and a wide variety of rumors about the couple and their relationship. As others enter the scene the story continues to morph with the introduction of more rumors and assumptions and perceptions be they accurate or not.
The story continues to unfold as the group of assembled guests reach a near panic and the audience is immersed in non-stop laughter. Here is where I made a huge error because as the show arrived at intermission I formed the opinion that what would happen would be that everyone would calm down and draw back to a far more rational and reasonable view of the situation before them. That, however, is not what happens. Two police officers show up and a whole new dynamic sets in. The conclusion? Well now I will tell this, you will be blown away by the story of events as told by Lenny Ganz [played by Kent Butler] pretending to be the man of the house.
Rumorsnow onstage at the Lonny Chapman Theatre is a nearly two hour immersion into great fun and rich humor. It could not have been executed so well without a great cast and here they are:
Todd Andrew Ball as Glenn Cooper
Kent Butler as Lenny Ganz
Fox Carney as Ken Gorman
Cheryl Crosland as Claire Ganz
Doug Haverty as Ernie Cusack
LizAnne Keigley as Cookie Cusack
Hisato Masuyama Ball as Cassie Cooper
Robert McCollum as Officer Welch
Judy Rosenfeld as Officer Pudney
Debi Tinsley as Chris Gorman
The show runs now through July 29that the Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Boulevard, North Hollywood, California. For further information including reservations and ticketing visit their website or call 818-763-5990.
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A brand new radio show hits the internet airwaves starting Wednesday. June 20that 11:00 a.m. Pacific time and each Wednesday thereafter. The show hosts are Ron Irwin, Victor Onuigbo and Richard Perry and they call their show “The Three Amigos.” Fun guaranteed so check it out here.
Photos by Doug Engalla
Top photo: Fox Carney, Cheryl Crosland and Kent Butler
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.