by Neil Simon
Set in the 1980's, Rumors is a riotous comedy by Neil Simon that takes place during an elegant dinner party hosted by New York's Deputy Mayor. When the guests arrive, they discover a gunshot wound and a missing spouse, setting off a chain of mistaken identities, cover-ups, and outrageous rumors. With Simon's signature wit and comedic timing, the play delves into the absurdity of human foibles and the lengths people go to save face.
Welcome to Community Players Theatre and our production of Neil Simon’s farce, Rumors, which opened on Broadway in September of 1988. Neil Simon was the toast of Broadway and Hollywood during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. He wrote over 30 plays and almost the same amount of screen plays during this time period. His work is a reflection of his own life and the daily lives of ordinary middle class folks trying to solve a dilemma in their life.
Simon grew up in the Bronx New York during the depression. His childhood was difficult because his family was not only poor but he had a volatile relationship with his parents. He escaped this unhappy childhood by going to the movie theatre and seeing comedians like Charlie Chaplin. Simon used humor to cover up the pain in his own life. Although not always popular with the critics, the masses loved him. He won numerous awards for his work including a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play with Lost In Yonkers. The play, Rumors, is about the gathering of friends celebrating a Ten Year Anniversary for their friend Deputy Mayor Charles Brock and his wife Myra. But what happens when the guests arrive is a surprise to everyone and much of the plot centers around the couple’s keeping the surprise circumstances away from each other. This brings us to one of the main themes of the play which is if you are a good enough liar you can get away with anything. This theme was true when Simon wrote this play and is just as true today. I will close with a quote from Neil Simon about his play, “Rumors can come close to destroying friendships, even marital relationships. I think we’ve all been victims of rumors and they’re very hurtful”.