Uproarious Neil Simon comedy upcoming to Horner Auditorium

Take a look, as student actors rehearse for their winter comedy, “RUMORS” …

Hannah Kellebrew (playing Chris Gorman), and Ethan Archer (as her husband Ken Gorman), rehearse an opening scene from RUMORS. They’re trying to decide if they should call the police after they make a startling discovery, moments after arriving as guests at a dinner party.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The scenery has been constructed, and the ensemble cast is busily rehearsing their roles, in the upcoming David Douglas High School (DDHS) Theater Department production of Neil Simon’s clever situation comedy, RUMORS, opening on March 6

“Who doesn’t like to laugh?” was what DDHS drama instructor, and the show’s director, Michael Givler, had to say about the show. “We just wanted to do a funny play that makes people laugh. It’s what we all need, during these dreary winter months.”

As the director of RUMORS, a soon-to-open DDHS comedy, Michael Givler coaches the student actors at a rehearsal session.

Playwright Simon stated in numerous interviews that he “sat down to write a fun, funny play” – and came up with RUMORS, a classic farce comedy.

“With older forms of farce comedy, the humor comes from multiple mistaken identities,” Givler explained. “In this story the comedy comes from situations that are absurdity unfolding, throwing otherwise-composed upper-class suburbanites into chaos.”

Guest Chris Gorman welcomes the next arrivals, fresh from a car wreck outside the townhouse: Sarah Granberg (portraying Claire Ganz), and Alex Montgomery (as Lenny Ganz).

About the story:
The host, hostess, and their catering help are nowhere to be found, when four couples arrive at the townhouse of a deputy New York City mayor and his wife – having been invited to attend a wedding anniversary celebration.

The first couple to arrive discovers that the deputy mayor has passed out from an overdose of Valium, and in the process somehow shot himself in the head – but he’s still very much alive. The next couple let themselves in, and is perplexed by the cockamamie story being told about the absent hosts.

After making a startling discovery in the upstairs bedroom, the Gormans consider what they’ll say to arriving guests Amanda Schreiter (playing Cookie Cusack) and Devan Stokes (as Ernie Cusack).

As more guests turn up and join the oddly-unfolding get-together, rumors about the missing hosts evolve. But that doesn’t stop them from making their own supper, feasting on leftovers in the refrigerator and pantry.

Further complications ensue when police officers crash the party, looking for answers from the upper-crust guests who do everything possible to conceal the evening’s events – and to try to keep scandal out of the media.

“As rumors and lies make the situation go from bad to worse, things get funnier as the story unfolds,” Givler told East Portland News. “It is because of this that RUMORS has become a classic comedy in the American theater.”

Come enjoy this show, with a cast of 11 student actors, and a technical crew of 10. NOTE: While there are far more outrageous shows these days on broadcast television, because of mature themes and language in the play, this show is considered to be rated “PG-13”.

Still missing their hosts, party guests are again surprised – this time, by something they hear in the basement.

The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. for RUMORS on opening night, March 6, and the show plays for two weekends.

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

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.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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