Sophisticated Simon comedy “RUMORS” staged at DDHS

Find out why combining a talented cast, a realistic set, and a nimble Neil Simon script provides an evening of comedy at the Horner Auditorium …

Hannah Kellebrew (playing Chris Gorman), and Ethan Archer (as her husband Ken Gorman), call a doctor after they make a startling discovery, moments after arriving as guests at a dinner party.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

If you drive past the David Douglas High School Horner Performing Arts Center this weekend and next, you may hear the sound of laughter all the way out to the street. That will be the audiences enjoying Neil Simon’s witty situation comedy, RUMORS, which opened the evening of March 6.

“Progressively absurd rumors and lies told by, and to, four upper-class suburbanites attending an weird party for their friends makes for a hilarious story,” grinned the show’s director, and DDHS drama instructor, Michael Givler.

“As things to from bad to worse, story gets funnier as it unfolds,” Givler told East Portland News. “RUMORS has become a classic comedy in the American theater.”

Ken is questioned about the host’s whereabouts by arriving guests Lenny Ganz (played by Alex Montgomery), and his wife, Claire Ganz (Sarah Granberg).

About the story
When the host’s lawyer — Ken Gorman (played by Ethan Archer) – and his wife Chris Gorman (Hannah Kellebrew), also an attorney, show up at the 10th anniversary party of New York Deputy Mayor Charlie Brock and his wife Myra, they find the swanky townhome silent and empty.

Ken finds his host in the bedroom, a passed-out bloody mess, and decides not to say anything about it to other arriving guests, including Lenny Ganz (played by Alex Montgomery), the host’s accountant, and his sarcastic wife, Claire Ganz (Sarah Granberg).

Ernie Cusack (played by Devan Stokes) is puzzled as Lenny, Chris and Claire “laugh it up” about nothing; equally bewildered is Cookie (played by Olivia Stuart).

Just after the Ganzs learn that their host has been shot, and his wife is missing, in walk Ernie Cusack (Devan Stokes) and his eccentric cooking-show host and wife Cookie (played by Amanda Schreiter and Olivia Stuart in alternating performances).

After psychologist Ernie hears the loopy story, other guests think he’s going crazy – as Cookie’s back “goes out”, again.

Shrewish Cassie Cooper (played by Jenny Tien) goes off (again) on her husband, political candidate Glenn Cooper (Connor Riggs).

A politician running for State Senate, Glenn Cooper (played by Connor Riggs), and his crystal-obsessed wife Cassie Cooper (Jenny Tien) are the final guests to arrive. They bicker and berate one another so much that they hardly notice the missing host and hostess.

Officer Welch (Shannon Campbell) and Officer Pudney (Apikale Fouch) turn up the comedic heat as they come to the townhouse door, asking questions that the guests find difficult to answer.

As the story unfolds, the couples try to make the best of a growingly uncomfortable situation.

  • Will the host live?
  • Why is hostess absent from her own party?
  • Who will prepare dinner for the guests?
  • How will these guests, all trying to protect the reputation of their host, also protect their own?


Go see this talented cast of eleven actors, each providing accomplished personalities for their characters, in “RUMORS” and enjoy the surprise ending to this delightful play!

When the doorbell rings, this wild dance party starts suddenly.

The curtain rose for RUMORS on opening night, March 6, and the show plays for two weekends.

RUMORS also plays at 7:30 p.m. on March 7, and again on the weekend of March 12, 13, and 14. And, there’s a special matinee show on March 8 at 2:30 p.m.

Advisory: While there are far more outrageous shows these days on broadcast television, nonetheless because of mature themes and language in the play, this show is “rated PG-13”.

Officers Welch (Shannon Campbell) and Pudney (Apikale Fouch) tell the guests that they have some explaining to do.

TICKETS: Adults: $10; Students/Seniors: $8. The David Douglas Box Office is open from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. on school days, and one hour before the show. Or, reserve your tickets online: CLICK HERE.

It’s at the David Douglas High School Horner Performing Arts Center, 1400 SE 130th Avenue, 97233.

Just when the four couples believe it’s okay for them to relax – there’s another mystery to unravel.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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