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Rumors all around

Mary Catherine Miller, Staff Writer, The Hi-Times

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Rumors are a part of everyday life and because of them, a group of friends has a night of crazy confusion in Neil Simon’s “Rumors,” presented Sept. 24-26 by the Tupelo High School Theatre Company.

“It’s just chaos because they’re all in the same room together and then some things start happening and people get injured,” said Hollie Trent, who played Claire.

What’s supposed to be a simple 10th wedding anniversary party spirals into a mysterious evening when Chris (Emma Gousset) and Ken (Josh Martin) are the first to arrive at Charlie and Myra’s house. They find Charlie upstairs with a bullet wound and Myra and all the servants missing.

Guests keep arriving and Chris and Ken continue fabricating stories about where everyone is while attending to Charlie’s injury.

The play lives up to its title, with half of the characters knowing what’s going on and the other half in the dark. More is revealed in the second act of the play. At the end of the first act they’re trying to come up with possible conclusions and it’s all contradicting. They’re figuring things out by themselves.

Stories get muddled. People get stressed.

Tension is high when the police are on their way. No one knows what to say. The men play a game to see who will pretend to be Charlie should the police want to talk to him. Lenny (Connor Harper) loses and sulks upstairs, but when he’s called back down by the police he steals the show with an elaborate, made-up-on-the-spot story of how things ended up the way they are.

Believe it or not, the police accept the story and leave. The funny thing is that Lenny’s tale is actually true.

It’s nice to see a play that you can tell that the actors worked hard to make enjoyable for the audience.

Preparing took lots of rehearsal, Harper said, especially with general meanness.

“I practiced scowling a lot, yelled a bit,” he said. “My brothers give me a lot of practice with that one. You have to get in the mindset of being just as obnoxious and judgmental as this character is.”
If laughing is supposed to come naturally when watching a comedy, then “Rumors” did its job. It is by far the best play I have ever seen. I give it five stars.

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Rumors all around