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April 16, 2014

Lies, cover-up conspiracy play out in ‘Rumors’

By Sherri Kolade
C & G Staff Writer

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Lies, cover-up conspiracy play out in ‘Rumors’
A police officer tries to ask all the right questions in “Rumors,” which will run April 25-May 17.

FARMINGTON — After the deputy mayor of New York City shoots himself in the ear, leaving a flesh wound, during his 10th wedding anniversary party, a cover-up ensues as upper-crust couples try to hide the facts.

The farcical play “Rumors,” written by Neil Simon and produced by the Farmington Players, will run April 25-May 17, and director Cynthia Tupper said the upbeat play is for those looking for something fun and relaxing to do.

“It is lots of fun,” Tupper said. “Everyone needs that escape on the weekends.”

Tupper said the Players have never staged this show before. 

“It is kind of surprising, seeing that we’ve done a lot of Neil Simon and we’ve done quite a few farces before.”

The play, described as a well-written comedy, is a very specific, formulaic farce, which includes mistaken identity, door slamming and a very fast-paced tempo, she said.

The play piqued Tupper’s interest because she said the situations in the play could happen, and the story brings that to the extreme.

“You have to have really, really great actors doing it because the timing is so important, and you have to have really great characters they (the audience) believe in,” she said. “The extreme part of it is what makes it funny.”

Tupper said that because she’s worked with most of the cast beforehand, camaraderie is the 11th cast member of the 10-cast-member play.

Royal Oak resident Frank Markus, 51, who plays one of the couples trying to cover up the incident, said his character was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and he doesn’t suffer fools lightly; but the character is also a car guy, which fits with Markus’ real-life persona.

Markus said Simon did a good job with “Rumors” because it is witty and the humor comes from the dialogue.

“Of all the farces out there, I think his are the best. Our director is really good with the farce drama. She knows how to drive the actors to get the most out of the script,” Markus said.

Tupper said those looking for a deeper meaning in the play won’t find it here.

“It is pure fluff. There is no message to this play,” she said with a laugh. “This is just purely entrainment.”

She said that although the play is entertaining, it is still tough to pull off.

“People don’t realize that some of those kinds of shows are really hard to do because it is  all about the timing and physical humor, and having interesting characters that are funny relate to things in their own life,” Tupper said.

Tickets are between $14 and $16. Season tickets are available now at $60 for all four Farmington Players shows, performed at the Farmington Players Barn, 32332 W. 12 Mile Road.

Reserved seats for all shows are on sale at the Farmington Players box office.

For more information, call (248) 553-2955 or visit www.farmingtonplayers.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sherri Kolade at skolade@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1046.