Last fall it was Colonel Mustard in the conservatory with the candlestick in Central York High School’s Clue: The Musical. This fall it was Deputy Mayor Charley in the bedroom with a gunshot through his head (or through his earlobe) from an apparent suicide attempt. Charley is alive but uncommunicative, and his wife is nowhere to be found, and you know how rumors can get started. So to avoid such a disaster, one bumbling lie, fabrication, and rumor after another begin to fly as the guests to Charley and his wife’s ten-year anniversary party begin streaming in.

And such is the setup for Neil Simon’s comedy Rumors. Central York’s production takes place in an impressive set – a house interior that works great for the play and captures the affluence of the wealthy yuppies. Those yuppies including Ken Gorman and his wife Chris, the first couple we meet who get the whole wicked web of lies rolling as they frantically try to deal with the surprising situation they discover as the first guests to arrive at the party. John Feldmann is Ken, Charley’s attorney terrified of possible scandal, and Alesia Knott is his stressed wife who picked a bad week to stop smoking. Together they increasingly have trouble keeping their stories straight, much to their dismay and our entertainment.

Next to arrive are Claire and Lenny Ganz, both still a little shaken from having crashed their new Beamer on the way to the party, and the party isn’t likely to ease their shakes. Caroline Klidonas does an excellent job as the ditzy and gossipy Claire, while whiplash-suffering and soon-to-be-hard-of-hearing (after a minor gun accident) Sean Zortman is terrific as Lenny, spiraling in ever-growing worry until his big, hysterical monologue as he tries to tell the police exactly what happened.

Elsewhere, Patrick Young is practical state senate candidate Glenn Cooper and Ellen Varner is great as his suspicious and flirty and snobby wife Cassie. John Dumpman is the calm and pragmatic Ernie with a funny blast of a laugh. Abby Snook is a riot as Ernie’s wife, cooking show host Cookie, using outrageous voice and body language to great effect throughout as the quirky cooker with a bad back. Mark Holcombe is Officer Pudney and Sabrina Manno is the intimidating Officer Welch who try to sort the mess out while the guests try to keep them hoodwinked.

The show’s success is dependent on good characterizations and timing and Director Mark Zortman’s group works very well together, feeding off each other nicely as they desperately try to sort out fact from rumor.

Performed November 20-22, 2009.

Rob Hopper
Executive Director
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~
Chris Gorman: Alesia Knott
Ken Gorman: John Feldmann
Claire Ganz: Caroline Klidonas
Lenny Ganz: Sean Zortman
Ernie Cusack: John Dumpman
Cookie Cusack: Abby Snook
Glenn Cooper: Patrick Young
Cassie Cooper: Ellen Varner
Officer Welch: Sabrina Manno
Officer Pudney: Mark Holcombe

Director: Mark Zortman
Choreographer: Nancy-Ann Zortman
Assistant Director: Paige Nelson
Technical Director/Designer: Seth Werener
Musical Director: Darryl Engler
Costume Coordinators: Paige Nelson and Cindy Owens


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