Saturday, June 3, 2017

Rumors at The Barn

by Pa Rock
Theatre Fan

Last night my son, Tim, and I were at The Barn Theatre in Mission, Kansas, for the opening of their production of Neil Simon's Rumors, a show which will run through June 18th.  This is the third show that Tim and I have seen at The Barn, and all have been exceptional.

Rumors is Simon's wit at its sharpest.  The setting, a large house somewhere in New York City, features six doors with characters flying on and off stage almost as fast as the zingers they lob at one another as they try to make their way through an evening of bizarre complications.  The deputy mayor of New York City and his wife have invited a few friends over to help celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary.  The first guests hear a gunshot as they arrive and find the husband upstairs with a bullet hole in his ear and whacked out on pain killers.  The wife is nowhere to be found, and the servants have disappeared.  As more and more guests arrive, the story about what has happened becomes more complicated and convoluted until, by the time the police finally show up, a three-ring circus has developed in the living room that could only have sprung from the mind of someone as ferociously clever and cunning as Neil Simon. 

My late friend, Mollie Carroll.spent much of her life living and teaching school in New York City where she was also involved with the theatre community.  Mollie liked to tell the story of the day she met Neil Simon.  She said she was getting on the subway as Simon and a "very young" lady were getting off.  Mollie, never one to be at a loss for words, found herself almost speechless as she came face to face with the famous playwright.  Finally she stammered a recognition and blurted out, "Thank you for all of the laughter!"

Mollie is gone now, but the world is still laughing at the comedic situations and words of Neil Simon, and that laughter will still be happening long after the playwright himself is gone.    Yes, thank you, Neil Simon, for all of the laughter, and thank you, The Barn Theatre, for giving the Kansas City area a chance to join in that laughter.

Rumors is a fantastic show - enjoy it at The Barn.

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