Arts & Entertainment

It's no 'Rumor,' this romp is full of laughs

It's more than a rumor that Broken Leg Entertainment will tackle a Neil Simon comedy when it presents its next stage show -- Rumors.

It opens May 7 at the Red Lion in Kennewick.

"This show has been absolutely hilarious to direct," said director Lori Ganders.

So funny, in fact, the actors have had a tough time keeping a straight face in the rehearsal process, she added.

Rumors follows the antics of four formally dressed, affluent couples who are invited to an anniversary party for the deputy mayor of New York and his wife.

As each couple arrives, they find no servants, no food, no drinks and no ice. Oh, and the hostess is missing and her husband is on the bed with a bullet hole in his ear.

And so the farce begins as only Neil Simon can tell it.

The four couples are played by Tri-City actors Steve Montgomery, Katrina Carlson, Korry Watkins, Michele Solano, Brad Steiner, Darlene Mahon, Michael Thomas and Alisha Reed.

"One of the highest points in directing this show has been working with this group of actors," Ganders said. "They bring new stuff every time we rehearse, adding to their character."

Ganders also touted the talents of set designer Mary Rowe. "She's a master at construction and makes my job easier," she said.

The toughest part of putting Rumors together has been the uncontrollable laughter when delivering lines.

"Trying to keep the cast from breaking each other up on stage has been a challenge," Ganders joked. "It sometimes takes several minutes of laughter before we can start again. But they promised me they would be over it by opening night."

One of the funniest scenes in the play, Ganders said, comes as Carlson's character becomes progressively drunk as the play moves on.

"Katrina doesn't drink, so she really has no idea what it would feel like to be drunk, but she's made everyone laugh with her portrayal," Ganders said.

"And Steve Montgomery's character loses his hearing at one point and becomes baffled as he tries to figure out what's going on. He plays that so well too."

Though the play is packed with as many laughs as a George Carlin comedy sketch, it's definitely suited for adults only.

Dinner performances start at 8 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. on May 7-8, 14-15, 21-22 with a 1:30 p.m. matinee on May 16 that includes dessert. Dinner shows are $40 and the dessert matinee is $25. Tickets are available at Adventures Underground in Richland and Distinctive Properties in Kennewick.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;