Lyric offers physically distanced ‘Rumors’ audience

Gene Deason / Special to the Bulletin
Cookie Cusack (played by Holli Blanton) crawls away to the kitchen after suffering a back spasm in a scene from Neil Simon’s “Rumors” at Brownwood’s Lyric Theatre. Also shown are Claire Ganz (played by Lasha Dennis) and Lenny Ganz (played by Levi Packer). After a successful opening last weekend, performances continue at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Good seats remain available for the final four performances of Neil Simon’s “Rumors” at Brownwood’s Lyric Theatre downtown.

The comedic farce enjoyed a successful opening last weekend.

This weekend’s shows will feature a physically distanced audience for Friday’s matinee, so anyone not comfortable being seated next to others because of the pandemic should plan to attend that performance. Altering rows will be left vacant, and empty seats will automatically separate groups of ticket-buyers.

Performances are scheduled for 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at The cost is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $10 for students.

The show’s setting is at a formal dinner party for high society couples living in the New York City area in 1990. The first couple to arrive finds one of their hosts bleeding and semi-conscious, unable to explain what happened, and his wife is nowhere to be found. In order to explain the circumstances to other arriving guests, a series of creative, unfounded, and contradictory reasons are offered. Predictably, efforts to get their stories straight lead to confusing situations. Ultimately, the police show up, and a moment of reckoning arrives.

Lyric officials commented that audience members have praised the comedic timing of the performers after having responded with almost constant laughter.

When ticket reservations are made online, concession selections are also available, which allows for the items to be paid by credit card. Concession items will be available at intermission.

Cast members are Tommie Bailey as Chris Gorman, Nicholas Ewen as Ken Gorman, Lasha Dennis as Claire Ganz, Levi Packer as Lenny Ganz, Ryan McCormick as Ernie Cusack, Holli Blanton as Cookie Cusack, Joseph Dennis as Glenn Cooper, Alisa Hinton as Cassie Cooper, Jake Bowren as Officer Welch, and Domonique Stephens as Officer Pundey.

      The show’s director is Nancy Jo Humfeld, technical director is Nicholas Ewen, stage manager is Carene Baslee, costume mistress is Tommie Bailey, props mistress is Kris Henry, light board operator is Jaimee Banks, and sound board operator is Dylon Evans.