Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

Murphys Creek Theatre will open its 20th season on Friday with the Neil Simon farce "Rumors" at the Black Bart Playhouse in Murphys.

Twenty years ago this May, a group of friends got together to put on a play and Murphys Creek Theatre was born. That play was "Rumors," by Neil Simon.

As an homage to that auspicious beginning, MCT is once again mounting this play with several of the original cast members.

"I had forgotten how funny this play actually is," said MCT Artistic Director Graham Green, "and I'm really thrilled to be working on it again. It brings back so many memories of the early days."

The returning cast members are: Sheila Doyle playing Claire Ganz, Tom White playing Ernie Cusack, and Terri Wilson, one of the company co-founders, playing Cookie Cusack.

Also featured are Sarah Grimes-Emmons as Chris Gorman, Michael Crich as Lenny Ganz, Mitzi Nelson as Cassie Cooper, Matt Hobgood as Officer Welch and Robert Wight as Officer Pudney.

"The only farce Simon ever penned, the action takes place at a large, tastefully appointed Sneden's Landing townhouse," said Green, who also directs this play. "The deputy mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of farce."

Gathering for their 20th wedding anniversary, the host lies bleeding in the other room and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken and wife Chris must get "the story" straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusions and miscommunications mount, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity.

"Rumors" will play at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through April 19 at the Black Bart Playhouse at 580 S. Algiers St.

Tickets are available at Sustenance Books in Murphys, the Ebbetts Pass Visitor Center in Arnold, at the playhouse, and online at

"Rumors" contains language that may not be appropriate for children, Green said.

For more information, call 728-8422.