Theater review: Rumors has plenty of humor

Amid its mayhem of personalities, and its various conflicting fabrications, there is no mistaking the humor to be found in the Ridgefield Theater Barn’s comic production of Neil Simon’s “Rumors.”

With a fantastic display of coordination, a captivating cast of 10 works wonderfully under the direction of Scott Brill. The harmony of the cast’s collective effort is, in turn, amplified by a masterful set design which provides an immensity of depth in performance space. Multiple levels and entranceways, as well as subtleties in costume and lighting, all work together seamlessly to enthrall the production’s audience, and engage any viewer in a playful world of conspiracy. Not a moment is lost in captivating the onlooker in this display of a dinner party gone scandalously awry.

Daniel Mulvihill, as the lively Ken Gorman, and Leigh Katz, as the frazzled Chris Gorman, jolt the production to life in its first few minutes as they bounce off one another in a desperate attempt to fix an unwelcome surprise. Both actors do much to grip the audience’s attention as Mulvihill buzzes around a believably dazed Katz. Jody Bayer, as Claire Ganz, and Duane Lanham, as Lenny Ganz, add much to this experience as they join in the confusion, both actors coordinating their efforts as they artfully play both a gossiping couple and their distinct roles as bombastic husband and inquisitive wife. Deborah Burke, as Cookie Cusack, and Rick Haylon, as Ernie Cusack, do their part in turn, providing a balanced contrast in their performance as compliant houseguests whose injury-based physicality is as strong as their embodiment of their roles as eccentric chef and reflective psychologist. The ensuing cacophony of misdirection, accident, and misunderstanding is further supported by the remaining cast, whose contributions help to create a vigorous production that is certainly worth attending.