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August 22, 2017 – August 24, 2017 all-day
PERFORMANCE DATES: 10th NOVEMBER – 2nd DECEMBER
By Neil Simon
Directed by Joy Sweeney
“An Elegant Farce”
Artwork by Michael Arvithis
Rumors by Neil Simon opened on Broadway in 1988. It ran for 11⁄2 years. The play won 2 Tony Awards. One for best actress and one for costume design.
Neil Simon noted that “This is completely different for me…It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written. It’s my first farce.” In describing the play, he said: “The play started with the idea of doing a farce…The next thing was to do it as an elegant farce, because the farces in Moliere’s days were generally about wealthy people. I decided to dress them in evening clothes. There was something about having them dressed in evening clothes that I thought was a nice counterpoint to the chaos that was happening in the play. And so I picked a reason for them to be dressed elegantly, and it was a 10th anniversary.”
What the reviewers say
“Light, frothy and fun.” – New York Post
“Has nothing on its mind except making the audience laugh.” – The New York Times
“Neil Simon makes people laugh-a lot!” – USA Today
“Not only side splitting, but front and back splitting.” – NB
TUES 22nd AUGUST
THURS 24th AUGUST
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
AUDITIONS ARE HELD AT: THEATRE ON CHESTER, CNR CHESTER & OXFORD ST., EPPING. FROM 7.30 P.M.
PLEASE CONTACT JOY SWEENEY ON [email protected] or 0418293494 FOR AN AUDITION TIME.
AUDITIONS WILL BE A “COLD READ” BUT YOU WILL BE GIVEN TIME TO LOOK OVER THE CHOSEN SCRIPT PIECES BEFORE YOU AUDITION.
PLEASE NOTE: AMERICAN ACCENTS ARE ESSENTIAL
REHEARSALS ARE TUESDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHTS AT THEATRE ON
CHESTER. PERFORMANCES (see dates above) ARE FOR 3 WEEKS/4
WEEKENDS. THEY CONSIST OF WEDNESDAYS, FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS
(NIGHTS ONLY) AND SUNDAYS AT 5.00 P.M.
IF YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL YOU WILL NEED TO BE A FINANCIAL MEMBER –
“Rumors”, by Neil Simon, is a madcap, slamming door farce set in a large home located in New York in the year 1988. The characters are arriving as guests at a 10th Anniversary Dinner. The first couple to arrive discovers that one of their hosts (Charley) has apparently attempted suicide…unsuccessfully. Charley’s wife, Myra, is nowhere to be found and neither are the servants. Through the course of the show, the audience never meets Charley or Myra. As more guests arrive, there are cover- ups, deceptions, mistaken identities, and a lot of huge laughs.
The primary characters are the four couples that arrive as guests at the dinner. The other characters are a male and female police officer who arrive in Act II.
Character age is somewhat flexible. The primary concern is that couples look like they “go together”. General age range for the entire cast, ideally, would be from early 30s to early 50s. At the outside, mid 20s to 60 if you can play older or younger.
CHRIS GORMAN (F)
Chris is an attractive woman. She is nervous and neurotic. She recently quit smoking but quickly falls off the wagon. She will be smoking prop cigarettes through most of the second act. Chris also has a few too many vodka martinis and plays slightly drunk starting about midway through the show. Chris does some physical comedy and will have to trip over a phone cord and fall on her face.
KEN GORMAN (M)
Ken is Chris’ husband and is Charley’s attorney and friend.
Ken is pompous, serious, a know-it-all…when he can hear. About midway through the first act, Ken has a slight accident with the shotgun. It goes off next to his head and leaves him virtually deaf for a good part of the centre section of the show. Ken has to be shouted at, shouts in return and constantly mis-hears what is being said to him.
CLAIRE GANZ (F)
Claire is an unimpressed, laconic smart mouth who is seemingly amused by everything that is going on. Not surprising considering
LEONARD “LENNY” GANZ (M)
Lenny is Claire’s husband. He is Charley’s accountant. Lenny is by far the most foul-mouthed, outspoken member of the cast. He is also HILARIOUS. IMPORTANT NOTE: Lenny has a bizarre three page monologue at the end of the show where he is posing as “Charley” and tells his version of just what’s been going on. Lenny and Claire have also had a car wreck on the way over and Lenny’s neck keeps locking up on him.
COOKIE CUSACK (F)
Cookie is a flamboyant host of her own cooking show. She is garish, a bit ditzy and will be expected to deliver quite a bit of physical comedy. Cookie has a bad back…so bad that she carries a special pillow with her everywhere. Her back is regularly going out with much screaming and gyration. A couple of times Cookie is actually forced to crawl on and off the stage due to her back ailments.
ERNIE CUSACK (M)
Ernie is Cookie’s husband and Charley’s analyst. He is a somewhat quiet and calming presence in the midst of the storm of confusion. (Although he does lose it a couple of times) He helps Cookie prepare the meal for the evening and is mistaken for the butler at one point.
GLENN COOPER (M)
Glenn is a candidate for the State Senate and quite handsome. The TV cameras love him. He is constantly worried about his image and how involvement in the possible crimes being committed all around him might impact his candidacy.
CASSIE COOPER (F)
Cassie is Glenn’s wife. She is younger, very good looking and totally nuts. She and Glenn hate each other. She doesn’t want to be there, she is constantly fighting with Glenn and she is constantly threatening divorce. Cassie is a believer in the power of crystals. She also hides in the bathroom a lot. At one point, to punish Glenn, Cassie tousles her hair and flirts outrageously with some of the other male guests. She also attacks Glenn with a cell phone (a 1988 cellphone) off stage in a fit of rage
OFFICER BEN WELCH (M)
No nonsense cop in his 40s-50s. Has a couple of smaller monologues.
OFFICER PUDNEY (M OR F)
Much younger than Welch. Welch’s partner. Minimal lines.