Jewish Repertory Theatre starts a buzz with 'Rumors'


Have you heard the rumor? Well, it's true.

The Jewish Repertory Theatre of Nevada (JRTN) is again bringing culture to Summerlin. It plans to present Neil Simon's "Rumors" Saturday through March 31 at the Adelson Educational Campus, 9700 W. Hillpointe Road.

Saturday's opening performance is sold out. Additional shows are scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. March 29 and 8 p.m. March 30 and 31.

Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for seniors and $15 for students. For more information, call 243-6950 or visit simonfest.org.

The comedy revolves around guests arriving for a posh anniversary dinner only to learn that one host is dead and the other missing. Doors slam, hilarity prevails and confusion and miscommunication mount as the play spins into a classical farce that Simon pulls off well.

Using the Adel son theat er is part of the JRTN appeal, as it likes to keep its shows in the suburbs. For its last show, it used the Suncoast Showroom.

"People in the suburbs are completely ignored," said Charlene Sher, co-founder. "The downtown theat ers don't bring shows out here."

JRTN is doing the show in conjunction with the Neil Simon Festival of Cedar City, Utah. Teaming up with the Utah theatrical company stemmed from a chance meeting at a convention last year. Sher manned the JRTN booth next to the one for the Cedar City group.

"We got chatting and exchanged cards," said Sher. "We thought maybe we could do a joint venture."

The two companies divided the duties. The set was the responsibility of the Neil Simon Festival of Cedar City, as it already planned to do the play this summer.

Richard Bugg, founder and artistic director for the Utah company, said getting everything ready earlier than planned created only a few logistical concerns.

"We had to fast track the set design, and, of course, the director had to solidify his concept more quickly than he expected," he said.

The set was built in Cedar City and trucked to Las Vegas. In addition, two of the actors are from Utah and traveled to Los Angeles for two weeks of rehearsal. They then came to Las Vegas for a week of dress rehearsals with the set on stage.

Sher and Norma J. Morrow, JRTN co-founder, used their far-reaching contacts in the acting world to find a staff . The cast includes Stephen Macht, Michael Durrell and Jerry Sroka.

Durrell was in Simon's "The Sunshine Boys" on Broadway. He also starred in Aaron Spelling's television hit "90210" as Tori Spelling's father for nine years.

Macht is well known for playing Trevor Lansing on the soap opera "General Hospital." Starring roles include the lead in the "Immigrants," "Raid on Entebbe," "Star Trek" and the "Trancers" series. For three years, he played the love interest to Sharon Gless in "Cagney and Lacey."

Sroka wrote and appeared in the long-running "Dying for Laughs" at the Santa Monica Playhouse. His career includes TV work -- "West Wing," "Ally McBeal," "Seinfeld" -- and voiceovers for "The Life and Times of Tim," "Antz" and "Rugrats."

"During rehearsals, he keeps us laughing with his delivery of lines," said Morrow. "He is a true comedian."

Sher and Morrow also have roles. Rounding out the rest of the cast are local actors Randy Morrison, Rozanne Sher and Susan Lowe.

Bugg said collaborating with the Las Vegas group meant "a chance to get our name out to a new audience, a wonderful opportunity to work with another theat er company that is passionate about doing legitimate theat er in Las Vegas."

The caliber of the Simon play is seen by JRTN as both a plus and a challenge.

"This means the bar has been raised," said Sher, "so we have to keep up with it."

Contact Summerlin and South Summerlin View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 387-2949.

 

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