The Placer Performance Calendar


Great Local Shows - Theatrical Reviews

Title Rumors
Organization Roseville Theatre Arts Academy
Date(s) of show April 4 - April 13, 2014
Reviewer Dick Frantzreb
Review Roseville Theatre Arts Academyís production of Neil Simonís Rumors is the funniest show I have seen in years. The excellence of the show starts with Simonís brilliant writing, with comic tension and friction from the very first scene as husband and wife argue over what to do about the minor gunshot wound of the host of the party at which they are the first to arrive. The host is never seen or heard, but as three more couples arrive, the stress among the characters remains high as they argue and try to hide the facts of the situation from each other. The dialog is witty, but this production succeeds so brilliantly by building on the structure that Simon has provided.

Iíve seen this play twice before and enjoyed it immensely, but this time was different. First, itís the cast, and let me name them in order of their appearance: Michelle Raskey, Bobby Grainger, Teresa Ahnin, Mike Mechanick, Christi Axelson, Bob Nannini, Eliza Webb, Steve Gold, Paj Crank, and Ian Anderson. I have witnessed some of them perform before, and was looking forward to seeing them in these roles. But even those I hadnít seen were delightful surprises. As a group these people are remarkable comic actors, adding nuance and exaggeration that kept me Ė and everyone in the audience Ė laughing almost constantly.

I never know how much to credit the director for what I see because the details in shows like this are usually collaborative efforts of director and cast, but the staging and blocking seemed inspired. One small example Ė that was not in any of the other productions Iíve seen Ė was the presence of an absurdly long telephone cord, allowing different actors to get tangled up in it Ė with hilarious results. There were numerous other sight gags and physical comedy to accompany the misunderstandings, frustrations, arguments and sardonic repartees Ė all delivered with perfect timing. I can imagine the fun these actors had during rehearsal, putting all this together, and I wish I could have seen it. But the result of the fun (and work, Iím sure) that they had was two hours of some of the best comedy Iíve been privileged to witness.

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