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SET Group’s “Rumors” Sold Out Opening Weekend

September 8, 2010

The SET Group’s “Rumors” opened this weekend on Friday, September 3. The plot to Neil Simon’s play revolves around a group of dinner guests trying to find ways to cover up their absent host’s attempted suicide (he only shot his ear) from each other and from the police.

I know, I know. This sounds like heavy material. However, it is actually hilarious and chaotic. Directed by Rod Oden, “Rumors” was both stressful and a joy to watch. During Act II, Ernie Cusack (played by Brent Christensen) declares, “Logic doesn’t mean shit to him now!” All of the characters try to over-rationalize everything to the point where they become bumbling fools. But this is part of the appeal of the play. You are able to watch a two-hour train wreck only to have a sigh of relief at the end.

There is an element of voyeurism for the audience; I felt as though I was a part of the play. The SCV Space transformed into a full set with the audience placed around the central action. The wall-to-wall set leaves the audience in the midst of it all. This allows for a very intimate performance. So intimate in fact, that I felt as stressed as the characters seemed to be. It was hard to detach from the performance since I was spatially consumed by it.

The highlight of the performance comes when Lenny Ganz (played by the stand-out star Paul Anninos) lies to Officer Welch (Ggreg Snyder). Throughout the play, Anninos is entertaining to watch with his increasing exasperation and crooked, whip-lashed neck. Hannah Lively, who plays Claire Ganz, is devilishly lovely and witty.

“Rumors” is loud and fun chaos. Due to the opening weekend selling out, the play will be running for three weeks through September 19 at the SCV Space. This is located at 27600 Bouquet Canyon Road, Unit 120, Santa Clarita, CA 91350.

For more information or tickets, visit the SET Group’s website or call (661) 263-3733.

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