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Rumor has it: StageDoor's 'Rumors' is laugh-out-loud fun

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By Sara Miller

These days, plenty of theater productions make you think. StageDoor Theatre’s latest production of Neil Simon’s hit show “Rumors” is theater that makes you laugh ee and laugh and laugh and laugh.

“We picked this show because it would be fun,” says Fran Arniotes, one of 10 cast members. “There’s a lot of stuff that’s challenging for today’s audiences, and we thought that with the economy and the way the world is today, people just want to escape and laugh.”

Laugh is just what you’ll do at this fast-paced production. Like a typical Neil Simon show, this play is set in New York City. The plot revolves around four affluent couples that thrive on idle gossip — thus, the play’s title. The friends have a get-together one evening to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a couple in their group.

The characters represent the true power couples of early-1980s New York. They are excitable lawyer Ken Gorman and his cigarette-withdrawal-suffering lawyer wife, Chris; hyper-accountant Lenny Ganz and his wife, Claire; clueless psychological analyst Ernie Cusack and his back-pain suffering TV cook-show host, Cookie; and the ambitious politician Glenn Cooper and his suspicious wife, Cassie.

Each couple arrives separately to discover the host is in bed upstairs shot through the earlobe. The hostess is nowhere to be found, and the cook is missing, so there is no food. The couples spend the rest of the evening trying to piece together the evening’s happenings while attempting to cover up what they deem to be an embarrassing situation.

The story is about nothing. But at the same time, in his Seinfeld-esque way, Simon manages to turn nothing into a hilarious snapshot of New York life. In true farce fashion, the cast of “Rumors” dodges and dashes, slamming doors and sliding down stairs.

Dean Arniotes has created a bi-level New York townhouse with five doors and a staircase perfect for all of the near misses in this physical comedy.

The cast is made up of tried-and-true StageDoor actors, including Sydney Bernard-Hogling, Gavin Maurer, Fran Arniotes, Patrick Hiester, Stan Foxx, Jayne Fair, Chris Winslow, Todd Alcock, and Adam and Alexa Burch.

“We’re having such a great time in rehearsals,” says Arniotes. “It truly is a hysterical show.” And the rumor is that everyone will enjoy it.

Neil Simon’s “Rumors”

Presented by StageDoor Theatre Sept. 19, 20, 26, 27 and Oct. 3 and 4; all performances at 7:30 p.m.

StageDoor Theatre is at 25797 Conifer Road (in the Aspen Park Village shopping center)

Tickets cost $14/adults; $12/students and seniors. Group discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets may be reserved at www.stagedoortheatre.org. Call 303-886-2819 for more details.

This show has a PG-13 rating.