Neil Simon’s RUMORS Comes to Steel River Playhouse

by Patricia Bradford

Who knew suicide could be so funny? America’s Number #1 comic playwright, that’s who.

Neil Simon’s Broadway hit RUMORS comes to the Steel River Playhouse stage, from March 12th through March 22nd, as part of the theatre’s continuing “American Classics” series. Mr Simon, the most produced playwright in the history of the American stage, and the comedy genius that gave us such memorable shows as “The Odd Couple,” “Barefoot in the Park,” the musical “Sweet Charity” and the Oscar winning “The Goodbye Girl” knows more about how to tickle a funny bone than anyone in the business.

His vehicles in RUMORS are accidental gunshots, marital transgressions, big-city politics and a group of bumbling jet-setters. All combine for a dizzying romp that Simon himself endorses as his only true farce!

Sitting in his Manhattan digs, the Deputy Mayor of NYC ineptly tries to shoot himself — inflicting only a messy flesh-wound (to his ear!). But his friends are expected any minute to celebrate his 10th wedding anniversary. His lawyer, thinking of what the incident will mean for his political future, quickly plots a ham-handed cover-up that ironically tears the cover off the pretensions and problems of the politicians’ friends. As each arrives for the evening’s festivities they’re ensnared in a hilarious swirl of professional resentments, neuroses and clandestine affairs. Confusion and miscommunication abound in one of Simon’s most memorable plays.

Over the course of 50+ years (and still going strong!), Simon and his work have received literally every major award in the entertainment industry – Tonys, Oscars, the Pulitzer Prize and the Kennedy Center’s prestigious Mark Twain Award.  The New York Post praised “Rumors” as “Light, frothy and fun.” The Times agreed, asserting the play “Has nothing on its mind except making the audience laugh.”

Drucie McDaniel, a longtime fixture on the Philadelphia stage and on screen (“Girl Interrupted”) directs Steel River’s production. The cast includes many new faces to Steel River and a couple of familiar friends: Erin Bohmaker who was in SRP’s season-opening hit “SHOUT!;” Anthony Cipollo, who recently scored in the Village Players’ “Don Juan in Chicago;” Charles Delaney who appeared in Steel River’s holiday production of “The Sound of Music.” The cast also boasts the talents of Alex Mandell (“The Crucible,” Pennsbury Players), Lisa Gazillo (“Dark of the Moon” at Playcrafters), Dawn Varava (“Incorruptible” at the Arden), Tim Jackson (“Anna in the Tropics,” Players Club of Swarthmore) Rob Tilley (“Cat’s Cradle” at Carrollwood Players), Kelly McGaughan (“Fin” the Cabaret Administration), and Joe McShane who will be making his stage debut in the show.

Tickets are $15 – $27 and are available online at, or by calling the Box Office at 610-970-1199. This production will be held in the Playhouse’s mainstage theatre at 245 E High Street, Pottstown, 19464. Patrons can choose their seat(s) when booking online, so purchase tickets early to get the best choice!

About Steel River Playhouse
Steel River Playhouse is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable education and performance facility that seeks to strengthen community, inspire creative exploration, educate, and entertain, through the presentation of quality performing arts events and education for diverse audiences. Steel River provides affordable, high quality performances, comprehensive educational offerings, and enriching volunteer opportunities in all aspects of theatre arts. The organization embraces emerging and established artists, and supports community by serving as a magnet destination for economic development and a platform for shared experiences by diverse audiences. Students and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to explore and grow their skills by working side-by-side with professional instructors, performers, directors, and designers.

Theater/Organization Steel River Playhouse
Theater/Organization Website:

Theater/Organization Address: 245 E. High Street Pottstown, Pennsylvania 19464 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (610)970-1199

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