Locals perform in 'Rumors'

Comedic play to run May 9 to 18

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  • Photo provided The cast of the Cornerstone playhouse production of Neil Simon's "Rumors." Pictured: (front row) Sarah Leonardo, Lynda Manyak Kolvik, Louanne Bright, Anmarie Digiovanni, Cathy McKay. (back row) Raymond Ayers, Lou Cerny, Roseann Impellizzeri, James Jim Berkheiser and Thomas Gomez.

If you go...

WHAT: Rumors.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 9 through 18.
WHERE: Cornerstone Playhouse, The Crescent Theater, 74 Main Street, Sussex, N.J.
HOW MUCH: $15 adults, and $13 seniors and students.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Walk-ins are welcome, however, Cornerstone Playhouse has reserved seating. To make a reservation, 973-702-0687 or CornerstonePlayhouse@hotmail.com.

A rumor is a currently circulating of uncertain or doubtful truth. It’s also the latest production by the Cornerstone Playhouse at the Crescent Theater in Sussex.

Local actors from across the county will be presenting a revival of the Neil Simon comedy, “Rumors.”

Cornerstone’s artistic director from Ogdensburg, Michael Gillespie, thought that this was the perfect time to run a show like this.

“We are doing an adult production because at this time of year it is hard to get students in our shows,” he explained. “They have finals and things at school and we don’t want to take away from their learning. During the season we do two adult shows, one in the spring and one in the fall and we do a family show in between.”

Local cast members
The production has undergone nearly six weeks of rehearsals but before any of that could start, auditions had to be held.

“It is always a plus to have more people audition than parts available so we had our pick of excellent performers,” Gillespie said. “We actually lost three of them due to illness before we could even start so they had to step out of their roles. We looked into the people that had previously auditioned and spoke to them but they had taken other rolls so we announced casting calls. Cathy McKay, a former Lake Mohawk resident that had been involved with Cornerstone before actually saw a Facebook posting and came back from Amherst, N.H. and auditioned. She got the part and we are thrilled to welcome her back to Cornerstone.”

Other members of the cast include Sparta resident Annmarie DeGiovanni, who got involved with the show because of an e-mail.

“I heard about this production through my Cornerstone e-mail,” she said. “My best friend Raymond always encourages me to step out of my adult comfort zone and add another role to the usual mom one that I play every day. My children help me practice and they now have a love and appreciation for the theatre. Its a win-win all around.”

Another cast member Thom Gomez, of Monroe, NY, wanted to work with the people involved with the show.

“I am a member of Cornerstone, so I get the newsletters and audition notices,” he said. “I have also worked with our director, Max Lehman on a previous show at Cornerstone and knew he'd be a good person to work with.”

What to expect

According to Gillespie, the show is a “traditional Neil Simon farce.”

"There will be a lot of doors opening and closing and side splitting entertainment,” he said. “There are laughs from start to finish and it is an adult show which means strong language is used.”

Cast member Sarah Leonardo, of Newton, also had some insight on what audiences can expect.

“I think people coming to the show need to remember to listen,” she explained. “This is a show that has a lot of fast pace talking and movement. Audience members need to take some time to actually enjoy the show. If you don't you'll miss a joke or a facial expression that will leave the rest of the audience rolling in the aisles.”

The theater is doing its part to be seasonally appropriate as well.

"Since ‘Rumors’ is running on Mother’s Day, if you are looking for a way to spend the afternoon with mom, maybe take her somewhere for a nice lunch," according to the theater's release. "And if you visit a restaurant in town, just bring the receipt and you will get $5 off one ticket.”

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