An article in yesterday's edition of The Sun in Anne Arundel incorrectly stated the plot of "Rumors," the Neil Simon play in production at Colonial Players on East Street in Annapolis.
In the play, the deputy mayor of New York shoots himself in the ear.
The Sun regrets the error.
As one of America's most successful and prolific playwrights, Neil Simon has given us enduring characters in believable situations. But likable characters need not apply for "Rumors," a Neil Simon farce that ridicules the self-absorbed.
FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION
In its version of this show, which opened last weekend, Colonial Players delivers a fast-paced, often hilarious production with only one thoroughly likable character in the lot.
Robert Marchand delivers a first-rate performance as Officer Welch. We are pleased when the mystery surrounding the death of the deputy mayor of New York is explained to his satisfaction.
Deputy Mayor Charlie and his wife, Myra, have invited practitioners of law, psychiatry, state politics, accounting, and television cookery to help them celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. But as the guests begin to arrive, Charlie and Myra are nowhere to be found.
When the guests learn that Charlie has shot himself, they try to figure out why, then to conceal the truth to protect Charlie's image and their own. Stories are spun to suit the situation, and they reach total absurdity before the truth is revealed.
Kevin McConnell is outstanding as Lenny Ganz, an accountant suffering the incalculable loss of a new BMW disfigured on the way to the party. His timing is impeccable, and his experience as a stand-up comic in New York is evident as he knowingly goes for laughs and savors them. Drice Clewell plays his wife, Claire, a self-absorbed nonentity.
Mary Fawcett Northam displays precise timing as Chris Gorman, a corporate lawyer who is among the first to arrive. And she underplays her big scenes with good taste. When she returns disheveled from a trip to the bathroom, her hair awry, she is the quintessence of the proper woman, briefly run amok.
Ken Sabel, a Colonial Players veteran, plays her blustery husband, Ken.
Cary Myles flubbed several lines in his portrayal of Ernie Cusack, a therapist who has reached the pinnacle of his profession by arranging group sessions via conference call. But some of that could be attributed to opening-night jitters. Meanwhile, Carol Cohen, usually a solid ensemble player, seems to be overacting in her role as Cookie, Cusack's wife and a TV cook with a bad back who exists in her own happy space. She is hilarious, however, twisting herself into knots to imitate back spasms.
Kevin Wallace plays Glenn Cooper, a pompous, philandering phony, and Susan Bell is his sappy wife, Cassie, frequently rubbing a crystal to find signs of her fate and coming on to every male within reach.
Director Craig Allen Mummey observes in his program notes that farce is the most difficult theatrical genre to pull off. And on opening night, there were minor problems with flubbed lines, which momentarily threw off crucial timing. But for the most part, the production works.
"Rumors" plays at the theater on East Street in Annapolis Thursdays through Sundays through June 28. Tickets may be ordered by calling 410-268-7373.