Rumors opened on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre on November 17, 1988and transferred to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre where it closed after 535 performances and eight previews. Directed by Gene Saks, the original cast included Lisa Banes, Christine Baranski, Andre Gregory, Ken Howard, Ron Leibman, Joyce Van Patten, and Jessica Walter. The song “La Bamba” was required to be used in the play. Baranski won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play,and Joseph G. Aulisi was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design.
The play starts with Ken Gorman and his wife, Chris Gorman at the 10th anniversary party of Charlie Brock, the Deputy Mayor of New York, and his wife, Myra. Unfortunately, things are not going quite to plan. All the kitchen staff is gone, Myra is missing, and Charlie has shot himself in the head. Chris calls Charlie’s doctor, but before Chris can tell him what has happened, Ken dictates that she not inform the doctor of anything that has happened, for the bullet only went through Charlie’s ear lobe. It appeared that he had taken some Valium, and was falling asleep as he fired the gun, managing to miss his head. It all goes downhill from there in this farcical play by Neil Simon.
ARTS Owner, Robert Vance, provided the local high school theatre troupe with his scenic, lighting, and audio design expertise. The set included a two-story home with a number of doorways – Neil Simon comedies always have doors! There were sound effects throughout the play, including live gun shots. Special effects lighting included a car pulling up to the house and its lights been seen through the window, police lights through the same window, etc.