GRAND HAVEN, MICH. (May 12, 2023) – Central Park Players (CPP) will present “Rumors,” the farce by renowned playwright Neil Simon, on May 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and May 14 at 2:30 p.m. The comedy will be staged at Central Park Place, formerly known as the Grand Haven Community Center, at 421 Columbus Avenue.
“Rumors” takes place in the upscale home of New York City’s deputy mayor, Charley Brock. Four couples arrive at the 10th anniversary celebration party for New York’s deputy mayor and his wife, only to find the mayor wounded in bed and the wife missing.
The four couples are Ken and Chris Gorman, played by Dustin Day and Ashley Zimmerman; Lenny and Claire Ganz, played by Seth Kauderer and Karly Carr; Cookie and Ernie Cusack, played by Ruth Bethke and Riley Van Ess; and Cassie and Glen Cooper, played by Aurora Shewmake and Kyle Penland.
As guests arrive, each learns of the situation but tries to keep it hidden from the next guest to arrive. As the play progresses, the guests share rumors about the party’s hosts and about each other. Farce is a comedy that seeks to entertain an audience through situations that are highly exaggerated, extravagant, ridiculous, absurd, and improbable.
According to the production team, staging a farce is demanding of the show’s cast.
Meg Sebastian, who is making their Central Park Players’ directorial debut, said, “This show has been such a labor of love for myself and the cast from day one: from understanding each other and understanding how the world of farce is so much different than that of a comedy, to all the hours spent perfecting the characters and perfecting the timing of many jokes, both verbal and physical.”
Sebastian is assisted by Jennifer Reeths, who is assistant directing and stage managing her first production with Central Park Players. Diane Reeths is the show producer. Sebastian and both Reeths have been involved in many productions with the organization, both on and off stage.
“I’m happy to be producing this show as the last of our 64th season here at Central Park Players,” said Diane Reeths. “Our talented cast will have you laughing among the scenery created by our dedicated crew.”
Tickets can be purchased online at cpp.ludus.com or by contacting the box office at 616-229-0530. Regular tickets are $15, and discounted $10 tickets are available for senior citizens (65+) and students. Online and phone sales close one hour before the show; however, tickets can be purchased at the venue until showtime.
Rumors contains a significant amount of strong language, including the repeated use of both profanities and vulgarities—language that would qualify the play for a PG-13 rating if it were a movie.
“Rumors” was written by Neil Simon, an American playwright, screenwriter and author who wrote more than 30 plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, mostly film adaptations of his plays. He has received three Tony Awards, and a Golden Globe Award as well as nominations for four Academy Awards and four Primetime Emmy Awards. He was awarded a Special Tony Award in 1975, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1995 and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2006. “Rumors” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals (concordtheatricals.com) on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.