B'ville Theatre Guild's comedy of confusion

The Baldwinsville Theatre Guild pulls out all the stops in its ongoing production of Neil Simon's "Rumors."

There's a large cast, a carefully crafted two-tiered set, elegant stage decorations and costumes and enough light and sound cues to keep the whole crew jumping. All those elements are in place as BTG presents perhaps the silliest script ever written by America's premier comic playwright.

Funny farce

Overcoming all odds, director Jon Barden and his collaborative cast have staged a snappy, snazzy, funny farce.

Here's the plot: Having received invitations to an anniversary party, four well-heeled couples arrive at the house of Charlie and Myra in Sneden's Landing, NY. Charlie and Myra never appear. (Now guess which couple inspires most of the rumors.)

When the guests arrive they discover Charlie in a thoroughly unpresentable state and Myra missing. Charlie's also missing an ear lobe, while the guests are in danger of missing dinner because the servants are missing.

You get the idea. It's all about misunderstandings and miscommunication.

"Rumors" succeeds not because of its impossible situations but because of Simon's flair for characterization. And that's where the BTG actors step right up and shake the author's hand.

Comic cast

Blair Dawson and Josh Taylor play Chris and Ken Gorman, a mellow blonde and her hyperkinetic husband.

Stephanie Boivin and Mark Baker portray Claire and Lenny Ganz, a hand-on-the-hip hussy and her fussy husband.

Denise Ballou and John LaCasse play Cookie and Ernest Cusack, she a TV chef and he a pipe-smoking psychoanalyst.

And Korrie Strodel and Jon Wright portray Cassie and Glenn Cooper, a hot-blooded, quartz-bedazzled wife and her cool-as-a-cucumber politician husband.

Most of the 10 actors have previous BTG experience and it shows. They feel comfortable on this stage and know what to expect from their colleagues.

Memorable moments

There are no "lead" roles in "Rumors." It's a total ensemble piece, with each of the four couples carrying equal loads of dialogue.

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