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Published: Thursday, 8/8/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Fort Findlay Playhouse opens season with laughs

BY JULIE NJAIM
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Wes Taylor, Samantha Henry, and Bob Huber in a scene from the Fort Findlay Playhouse production of Neil Simon's 'Rumors.'    Wes Taylor, Samantha Henry, and Bob Huber in a scene from the Fort Findlay Playhouse production of Neil Simon's 'Rumors.'
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FINDLAY — Rumor has it that Fort Findlay Playhouse is opening its 2013-2014 season with the Neil Simon farce Rumors today.

“Other than The Odd Couple, I think this is the funniest show he has ever written,” said director Jim Toth, who also directed this same show here about 12 years ago. “I love it, and I was excited to do it again with an all new cast.”

These actors are new to this show under Toth’s direction, but they are far from new to the stage, and wrangling these veteran thespians has proven to be quite challenging. “The actors are out of control...I have a creative bunch.” Somehow through the escapades and laughter, the show is coming together, he said.

Four couples gather in the home of the deputy mayor and his wife to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. The first couple arrives — a lawyer and his wife played by Wes Taylor and Samantha Henry — to discover the mayor has been wounded and is in bed; his wife is missing.

They try to keep this a secret from the other partygoers: Aeryn Williams and Patrick Davis as Claire and Lenny Ganz; Alicia Creger and M. James Foust as Cookie and Ernie Cusack; Laurie Dye and Edd Griswold as Cassie and Glen Cooper. The rumor mill churns and comedy unfolds as the couples along with officers Welch and Pudney, played by Richele Reynolds and Bob Huber, try to determine what has happened.

“Rumors” will be performed at 8 p.m. today, Friday, and Saturday at Fort Findlay Playhouse, 300 W. Sandusky St., Findlay. Additional performances will be at 5 p.m. Sunday and at 8 p.m. Aug. 15-17. Tickets are $12 and available through the Arts Partnership, 419-422-4624. Information: fortfindlayplayhouse.org.

Colorful characters

Nearly 50 actors in the Toledo Repertoire Theatre Young Rep will present Guys and Dolls, Jr. opening today on the 10th Street stage.

“It's a cute show. It’s such an old classic. It’s really kind of a highly respected show in the music world. Guys and Dolls just keeps coming back all the time because it’s a very good show,” said director Eileen Eddy.

Little has changed in this pared-down version of the 1950s classic Broadway production that won five 1951 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Choreography.

“It brought out some really good songs,” Eddy said. Who can forget “Luck be a Lady Tonight” or “A Bushel and a Peck?”

A few of the racier scenes are omitted, but let’s face it: There’s little raciness by today’s standards in this tale of gamblers, a nightclub singer, and a Save-A-Soul Mission leader. Among the cast are Joshua McCutchen of Temperance; Elizabeth Gozdowski of Ottawa Lake, Mich.; Kathryn Riddle of Sylvania; Bridget Stachowski of Ottawa Hills, and Adam Parker of Sylvania Township.

“Guys and Dolls, Jr.” performances will be at 7 p.m. today, Friday, and Saturday with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, 16 10th St. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and younger. Information: 419-243-9277 or toledorep.org.

Summerstock

Summerstock Toledo, a student-run theater production, will present You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown this weekend at the historic Ohio Theatre.

Area high school students are getting a true taste of theater life as they produce, direct, choreograph, stage, and portray the lovable blockhead and his gang of friends.

“You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Ohio Theatre, 3114 Lagrange St. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. Tickets at the door are $1 more. Information: 419-708-4801 or 419-708-8455.

Please send theater items at least two weeks in advance to jnjaim@theblade.com.



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