Friday, August 5, 2005


One of Athens local theater groups, Town and Gown, is finishing up running a production of Rumors by Neil Simon (The Odd Couple, The Apartment, Star Spangled Girl and a whole library full of other plays ). There are three more performances, but they are probably already sold out. Simon is known for his comedic wit and the incredible overuse of his monologues by amateur auditors and theater students. Not to say that the monologues are worthless, but I digress.

Rumors is Simon’s farce of a farce, complete with the usual slamming doors, as well as jokes about slamming doors. It involves a bunch of successful friends arriving at a anniversary party where both the host and the hostess are missing, and every couple has a secret they are trying to keep from all the other couples. Of course being friends (as well as insufferable gossips) they are unable to do so.

Last nights performance was excellent. It did have both its good points and its flaws. It featured a whole bevy of Town and Gown repeat offenders including Cindy Nason as Claire Ganz, John Vance as Ernie Cusack , Catherine Clayton as Cookie Cusack ,and Speedy Arnold as Lenny Ganz. All the performers were good, however I was not quite so impressed with Cindy Nason. She is supposed to be excellent, but I found her “acting” detracting and annoying. While Catherine Clayton and John Vance were obviously excellent and accomplished actors, they did not give their characters quite the degree of kookiness I was expecting. Michael Brogndon as Ken Gorman, Dawn Garland as Chris Gorman and Emma Bowers Stephens as Cassie Cooper all deserve mention, because they all did standout jobs.

I really liked the scene where Ken Gorman comes out after he has lost his hearing. Also Cookie's back spasms and Lenny’s wild monolouge at the end were great. Look out for the scene at the end of the second act. This scene is trademark of the wild action of a farce and really works well. I thought the directing was fair, but Hope Vance is a young director. It’s also hard to tell without seeing her in action. Nothing really put me off about the play, but it wasn’t as tight a performance as it could have been, but it was still absolutely hysterical (and intelligent). I really urge you to rush out a buy a ticket if you can get one and if not go see their next play Taming of the Dude (an adaptation of Taming of the Shrew.

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