Placer Community Theater presents 'Rumors'

Neil Simon’s farce returns to Auburn
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
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A dinner party turned mystery is coming to Auburn, and the community is invited to watch the zany tale unfold.

Neil Simon’s “Rumors” opens Jan. 20 at the State Theater, and the Placer Community Theater cast and crew can’t wait for the curtain to go up.

Directed by Kelly Thomasson, “Rumors” tells the story of several well-to-do couples who gather to celebrate their friends’ 10th wedding anniversary. Upon their arrival, they discover that the hostess is missing and the host has shot himself through the earlobe. Realizing their reputations are in danger if word gets out, the guests take ex-treme measures to conceal the evening’s events from the public and police, with hilarious results.

“It’s pretty physical,” Thomasson said. “There’s a lot of witty humor, but also a lot of fun, tripping-over-the-banana-peel feel to it.”

The cast is made up of seasoned theater veterans and newcomers, all who have been putting in rehearsal time since November to present the play. “Rumors” contains adult language and is not intended for children under 14, but the director assures that adults attending will have a great time.

“My goal for this play is that the audience doesn’t even realize that time has passed,” Thomasson said. “I hope they feel like they got their money’s worth, but I also want them to feel like it has been 15 minutes since the beginning to the play to intermission.”

A veteran actor but PCT newcomer is John Medbury, who plays guest Ernie Cusack.

“Ernie is a psychoanalyst, and I think he has most of these people as patients,” Medbury laughed.

In addition to rapid-fire comedy, the production also requires a complex two-level set. Connie Holt, co-producing with Philip Jacques, said volunteers have constructed the interior of a two-story Victorian house at the theater, including a banister and five doors.

“We’re taking on a big project this time, but we think we can pull it off,” Holt said.

“Rumors” plays through Feb. 4 at the State. This is the theater’s second production of “Rumors,” and follows two sell-out performances: “The Odd Couple (Female Version)” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” “Rumors” kicks off the company’s 2012 season.

“It takes a lot of dedication to do community theater,” Medbury said in between rehearsing scenes. “We don’t get paid. The payment is the laughter.”

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When: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 20 through Feb. 4. Matinees at 2 p.m. Jan. 22, 28 and 29 and Feb. 4.

Where: State Theater, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn.

Cost: $20 general seating, $18 matinees and seniors, $25 at the door. Opening-night benefit tickets $30. Ticket price includes a dessert and beverage. Due to adult situations, the show is not recommended for children.

Tickets: or





Benefit performance

Opening night of Placer Community Theater’s production of Neil Simon’s “Rumors” is Friday, Jan. 20, and all proceeds will be donated to the Auburn Community Cancer Endowment Fund.

The ACCEF, founded in 2001, is a group of citizens who joined together to raise money for cancer research. Their goal was to raise $1 million for the University of California, Davis, Cancer Center. After many community events, ACCEF met its goal in 2005. Currently the fund is $1.7 million. Interest plus contributions from supporters are donated to the UC Davis Cancer Center. According to ACCEF board member Betty Bennett, that totals an average of $90,000 per year.

The Placer Community Theater board was eager to help, as was Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center President Paul Ogden, who has donated the use of the State Theater for the Jan. 20 event.

“ACCEF is the type of organization through which both PCT and APPAC can fulfill our mutual charters of giving back to the community that we serve,” said Phil Jacques, PCT vice president and “Rumors” co-producer. “ACCEF is a purpose-directed group that gives unselfishly to UC Davis Cancer Center to benefit not only our Auburn-area population, but for the greater good of cancer patients worldwide. Our donations help everyone involved.”

The benefit performance of “Rumors” shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, at the State Theater, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn. Tickets cost $30 and are available at or