Theatre Mirror Reviews - "RUMORS"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

Note: Entire Contents Copyright 2017 by Tony Annicone


Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Footlights Rep's first show in 2017 is "Rumors", a farce by Neil Simon. At a large, tastefully appointed Snedon's Landing townhouse, Charlie Brock, the Deputy Mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of Farce. Gathering for their tenth anniversary, the host lies bleeding in his bedroom and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken and his wife, Chris must get "the story" straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusions and miscommunications mount, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity. Director Sue Nedar picks the nine best performers to fill these madcap roles. Her expert direction wins this talented cast a thunderous ovation and constant laughter all night long.

Sue keeps the show in constant motion and some clever shtick for the talented cast to perform. Stage manager Diane Durand keeps things running smoothly all night long.The cast manages to keep the break neck tempo while delivering their tongue twisting lines. The first guests at the party are Ken and Chris played by Chris Mac and Nicole Piona. They set the pace for the madcap adventures of the rest of the cast from their very first lines. Chris as Ken, the lawyer tries to straighten things out when the cop shows up in the second act while in the first act, he keeps running up and down the stairs while creating a cover story for Charlie and Myra. He also has many funny one liners when Ken becomes deafened by a gun shot. This is when Ken misunderstands and misinterprets everything said to him, earning Chris Mac many laughs. Nicole plays Chris, the nervous lawyer who has just given up smoking. She brings out the humorous aspects of this woman especially when she repeats one of the cover stories at top speed as well as her drunken antics. Nicole is a hoot with her facial expressions and one liners. They both do a topnotch job in these wacky roles.

The second couple Lenny and Claire are played by Jason Trenholm and Kelly Morrell. This couple just had a car crash so Lenny has whiplash and Claire has a cut lip. Jason and Kelly have many funny lines in the show including the rumors they heard about Charlie and Myra from Carol Newman and Harold Green. They excel in these roles. Jason is excellent as Lenny and stops the show with his comic two page monologue pretending to be Charlie. He acts out what he thinks happened including speaking fake Spanish as two of the servants, telling a convoluted story about drinking champagne and of making love to "Myra" and then accidentally shooting himself in the earlobe. Kelly commands the stage with her funny lines and her comic facial expressions at Lenny's outrageous antics. The third couple, Ernie and Cookie are well played by Ken Raposa and Mary Jane O'Connell. Ernie is a shrink and Cookie hosts a cooking show on TV. They also have funny pet names for each other. Cookie appears in a hideous sixty year old dress, has a bad back and crawls around on the floor while Ernie burns his hands on a hot platter and dances up a storm with Cookie in the dancing scene. Ken has a funny melt down scene while Cookie makes everyone search the room for her missing earrings which she has clasped in her own hand.

The fourth couple Glenn and Cassie are played by real life husband and wife, Joey Raposa and Shandy Monte Raposa. They provide high energy as this constantly bickering couple. Joey plays a worried politician who might be having an affair with Myra or with Carol Newman while Shandy plays the new age wife who likes to rub crystals and flirt with the other women's husbands. Her hilarious rubbing of the crystals scene is priceless and won much laughter. The final performer in the show is Ron Caisse as Officer Welch. He is an irate cop who is looking for answers to his questions from the uncooperative guests. I have many fond memories of "Rumors" having directed it for Community Players back in 1993. So for a sidesplitting farce, be sure to catch "Rumors" at Footlights Rep in Swansea.

RUMORS (12 to 14 January)
Footlights Rep, Swansea Grange, 65 Milford Road, Swansea, MA
1(774)644-4539 or

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide