Quote of the Day: Writing is an escape from a world that crowds me. I like being alone in a room. It’s almost a form of medication – an investigation of my own life. It has nothing to do with “I’ve got to get another play.” Neil Simon, American Playwright

Travis Chaput as Ken in Neil Simon's Rumors, on stage at BCT/CLC through June 22, 2018. Photos by John Erickson.

Travis Chaput as Ken in Neil Simon’s Rumors, on stage at BCT/CLC through June 22, 2018. Photos by John Erickson.

Neil Simon is well known for his classic comedies, The Odd Couple, Brighton Beach MemoirsThe Sunshine Boys, numerous other plays and film credits. This summer Patrick Spradlin, director at Brainerd Community Theater (BCT) at Central Lakes College (CLC), brings us Rumors, a comedic farce, complete with quirky characters, people bopping in and out of doors, a strange incident and a ridiculous attempt at cover-up. 

M.S. Bernard as Lenny and Marc Oliphant as Ernie in BCT's production of

M.S. Bernard as Lenny and Marc Oliphant as Ernie in BCT’s production of “Rumors.” Directed by Patrick Spradlin. Set design by Tim Leagjeld. Technical Director is George Marsolek. Lighting/Sound design by Ben Kent. Photos by John Erickson.

Rumors is great escapism. You can go to the theater, which is cool and comfortable, and all you have to think about for the next two hours is “Where the heck is Mira? And, why are these people so ridiculous?!”

This is a wonderfully cast ensemble show which makes it easy for me to say, All the actors are excellent in their roles. It’s fun to see a couple new faces on stage at BCT, as well as a few regulars who always delight and inspire. I’m still chuckling as I’m remembering some of the hilarious shtick. Simon is good at shtick. Lots of good physical humor and well-placed zingers to bring a big laugh. My one criticism of Simon is that he tends to make his female characters a little ditzy, playing into stereotypes. Although, none of the characters in this play are the “brains” of the group.

Wendy Vandeputte as Cookie, Michelle Waldock as Officer Pudney, and Dan Maertens as Officer Welch in BCT's production of Rumors. Directed by Patrick Spradlin. Costumes by Nicole Rothleutner. Photos by John Erickson.

Wendy Vandeputte as Cookie, Michelle Waldock as Officer Pudney, and Dan Maertens as Officer Welch in BCT’s production of Rumors. Directed by Patrick Spradlin. Costumes by Nicole Rothleutner. Photos by John Erickson.

Tim Leagjeld outdid himself in set design for Rumors. He pays close attention to details. The above pictures only give you a glimpse. You’ll need to go to the show to take in the full effect. I asked Tim after the show where he got the fabulous paintings. He either did them himself, or used ones that a friend/relative painted (sorry, Tim, I didn’t catch the name). He calls the abstracts in the upstairs portion the “Fake-cassos.” They’re terrific. I like the Jackson Pollock-esque painting, and the really cool furnishings. Rumors is set in an upscale apartment in New York City. It was written in the late 1980’s, but Patrick brings in some contemporary references, even though they’re still using a landline phone and a phone service. Maybe the home owner is more of a Luddite.

Rumors is a Raucous Riot of Fun and Laughs at CLC/BCT

Karla Johnson as Chris in Rumors at CLC/BCT. Photo by John Erickson

You can see BCT’s production of Rumors on the Chalberg Stage at CLC through June 22, 2018. Call 218-855-8199 for tickets, Visit the CLC/Performing Arts website, or arrive early to purchase tickets at the box office which opens at 6:30. Showtimes are 7:30 each night.

 

Rumors is a Raucous Riot of Fun and Laughs at CLC/BCT

Scenes from Summer 2016 Play Writing class

You can also go there for information on my play writing class Scriptfrenzy! For students entering 5th – 9th grades. More info in this post on Play off the Page

 

 

 

Up next at BCT/CLC is The Church Basement Ladies. This is a fun, family-friendly musical about the antics and relationships that happen in the basement of the Lutheran Church (so much like where I grew up). In fact, you’ll see me on stage for this one playing the part of Karin. I’m honored and thrilled to be included in this stalwart cast of fantastically talented ladies, and one man, directed by Amy Borash. She’s got us dancing, sashaying, snapping our towels, and checking the lutefisk. You won’t want to miss this one! Performance dates are July 19-20, and 25-27, 2018. 7:30 performance time. (Sorry, no matinees are scheduled at this time.)

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What are some fun summer activities in your next of the woods?