Promotional material calls it “a dinner party gone topsy-turvy.” Jim Crisp calls it a much needed opportunity to laugh.
What it is is Theatre Macon’s staging of Neil Simon’s “Rumors.”
“It’s classic Neil Simon and Neil Simon is a genuine craftsman of comedy and comic language — and of creating great characters,” said Crisp, the show’s director.
Crisp also said that for both writers and actors, creating those great characters is paramount to making good comedy.
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“What’s exciting to me is we’re doing this with some of Middle Georgia’s best actors,” he said. “Really, we have the best of the best. We have actors who know how to make comedy work and how to bring vivid characters to life because it’s only then that it all becomes funny. Real comedy comes from the people, not from the words or the lines. The first task of any good actor in a comedy is to make their character believable and we have the actors that can do it.”
Still, Crisp said believability doesn’t mean characters can’t be unusual or eccentric.
“Simon has created a group of very interesting, sometimes eccentric, characters in a very unusual situation. I’d put ‘Rumors’ in a category with his classic work ‘The Odd Couple.’ It’s at that level and stylistically they have a lot in common even though the situation, characters and approach is entirely different.”
“Rumors” is the opening play of what will be Crisp’s final year of 32 as Theatre Macon’s founding artistic director. He is directing all six of the season’s mainstage shows.
“I’m delighted to include Neil Simon and I’ve had my eye on ‘Rumors’ for a long time,” he said. “You know if you buy a Neil Simon ticket you’re going to be well entertained and in the case of ‘Rumors,’ get a lot of laughs, too. And we all need a good laugh right now, right? All people love a good story and it’s special — it’s magical really — how we can sit in a room with others and form an audience. We can put our differences aside and have a good time together, a good laugh together. Laughter is something that pulls us together and I think live theater has a beautiful way of giving us that. Gosh! Don’t miss this one.”
Contact Michael W. Pannell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where: Theatre Macon, 438 Cherry Street
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 8-9 and 15-16; 2:30 p.m. Sept. 10, 17; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14
Cost: $25 adults, $20 seniors (60 and older), $25 children, students and military with ID
Information: 478-746- 9485, www.theatremacon.com