Theatre Guild starts ‘Rumors’ Friday

February 9, 2017

Local audiences will get their first look at the renovated Farm Kitchen Restaurant – and their second look at Neil Simon’s “Rumors” – when the Baraboo Theatre Guild opens its production of the comedy Friday.

The restaurant has been closed for renovations, but will open for the community theater group’s three-weekend run. Director Mark Hamdan-Krause said he picked the play, which the Theatre Guild previously staged in 2000, because he’s a fan of the playwright.

“I chose the play because I like Neil Simon plays, having appeared in two of them myself,” he said. “It’s a play with a lot of twists and turns, opened and closed doors and great writing.”

Simon’s first attempt at farce, “Rumors” is set at a wedding anniversary party. When guests begin arriving, they find one host missing and the other shot and unconscious. “This play literally starts with a bang,” cast member Darrell Elliott said.

Hoping to avoid a scandal, guests begin spinning lies that grow more convoluted as more couples arrive. Along the way, subplots develop, and in the end all the guests are complicit in a cover-up none of them completely understands. “These well-to-do friends need to come up with a plan before the rumors start at the tennis club, or the police show up, or both,” Elliott said.

Attending the party gone awry will be Elliott, Iveta Ball, Bobbie Boettcher, Jeff Thelen, Alec Parsons, Kathy Huebing, and Greg and Genny Petrulis. Attempting to make sense of the bizarre turns of events are a pair of cops played by Scott and Carolynn Kindschi.

“They are willing to do extra work without prompting,”Hamdan-Krause said of his cast. “They stayed late, they came early, and they met on their own if I could not be there. They had great work ethic.”

The play will be staged Feb. 10-12, 17-19 and 24-25.

“It’s a saucy tale of mystery, suspense, and good, old-fashioned gossip,” Boettcher said. “It’s a high-energy show with a lot of twists and turns cover-ups and high fashion.”