From Nov. 8 to 18, Neil Simon's farce "Rumors" will be presented at Niagara University. The production will be directed by adjunct speech professor Amanda Lytle Sharpe.
A true 20th century master, Simon noted in an interview that this classic comedy was his first farce, inspired in part by Moliere's comedies about wealthy people in outlandish situations.
As the comedy begins, four well-heeled couples arrive at the townhouse of a New York City deputy mayor and his wife who are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary. He's been shot in the head (only a flesh wound), she's missing, and his attorney attempts a cover-up that reaches the point at which nobody can remember which image-conscious guest has told what about whom. Doors slam and hilarity abounds as the affair descends into chaos.
The production contains adult language and is not suitable for children.
"Rumors" will be on stage in the Leary Theatre within the Elizabeth Ann Clune Center for Theatre, Clet Hall, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, and Thursday, Nov. 15, and at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, Saturday, Nov. 10, Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17. Also, 2 p.m. matinees will be presented on Saturday, Nov. 10, Sunday, Nov. 11 (with post-show discussion), Saturday, Nov. 17 and Sunday, Nov. 18.
Cast members include the following NU theater studies students: Kathleen Denecke of Hamburg (Chris Gorman); Michael Wachowiak of Kenmore (Ken Gorman); Stephanie M. Valliere (Claire Ganz) and Kerisa Yvonne Bonville (Cassie Cooper) of Fairport; Michael Sheridan (Lenny Ganz) of Amherst; Alexander Utz (Ernie Cusak) of Williamsville; Michele Dalia (Cookie Cusak) of Montville; John Woodley (Glenn Cooper) of Niagara Falls; Stephanie Wattie (Officer Welch) of Derby; and Mark Pietruszka (Officer Pudney) of Lancaster. Also, Nathan Van Remmen of Elma is stage manager for the production, and Sean Craig of Buffalo is assistant stage manager.
Set design is by theater studies senior Primo R. Thomas of Binghamton. Costume design is by Marilyn S. Deighton, while lighting design is by David Dwyer, and sound coordination is by Glenn Bernardis.