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Bemidji Community Theater's production of 'Rumors' opens Feb. 11

The Bemidji Community Theater hopes to provide some comic relief by presenting Neil Simon’s farce, “Rumors,” opening a two-week run on Friday, Feb. 11.

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Bemidji Community Theater members rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “Rumors” on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022. The play is set to open on Feb. 11 at the BCT building in downtown Bemidji.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI — It’s been a long, cold winter and the Bemidji Community Theater hopes to provide some comic relief by presenting Neil Simon’s farce, “Rumors,” opening a two-week run on Friday, Feb. 11.

“It’s a good time to kind of escape, get in out of the cold, get away from life for a little while and just enjoy a good laugh,” said Derrick Houle, who is directing the cast of nine.

The play will be presented at the BCT’s new Performing Arts Center, 316 Beltrami Ave. NW.

“We’re still getting used to the new place,” Houle said. “So hopefully patrons will be patient with us as we find out what works and what doesn’t work. We’re learning as we go.”

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Bemidji Community Theater members rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of Neil Simon’s farce, “Rumors” on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022. The play opens a two-week run on Friday, Feb. 11.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

“Rumors” takes place at a small, quaint townhouse in Palisades, about 20 miles north of New York City. Charlie Brock, NYC’s deputy mayor, and his wife Myra are about to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary.

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They have invited four couples over for a celebration dinner. However, Charlie has just been shot and Myra is nowhere to be found.

Being the first to arrive, the deputy mayor’s lawyer Ken Gorman and his wife Chris, upon their discovery, are left with the task of figuring out what has happened and what exactly to tell the rest of the guests as they arrive. Was it attempted suicide or was it attempted murder? Let the rumors begin.

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Bemidji Community Theater members rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “Rumors” on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022. The play is set to open on Feb. 11 at the BCT building in downtown Bemidji.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

“I’m a fan of farces,” Houle said. “So the rumors start to fly, and each couple has their own little story that they bring into the mix. This is cleverly written.”

Some familiar local actors are featured in the cast:

  • Mitch Blessing and Sasha Almendinger portray attorney Ken and his wife Chris Gorman.
  • Steven Mayer and Allison Cease play accountant Lenny and Claire Ganz.
  • Dave Moffit and Vicki Stenerson play Ernie and Cookie Cusack. Ernie is a psychiatrist and Cookie is a dramatic cooking show host with a bad back.
  • Mark Claussen and Rebecca Cue play Glenn and Cassie Cooper. Glenn is an ambitious politician and Cassie is his trophy wife.
  • Katie Carpenter portrays Officer Welch, a vigorous, straight-talking police officer.

If you go

What: “Rumors,” a play by Neil Simon, presented by the Bemidji Community Theater

When: Feb. 11-13 and 18-20. Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Where: BCT Performing Arts Center, 316 Beltrami Ave. NW

Tickets: Available at Iverson Corner Drug and Ken K. Thompson Jewelers and at the door. Adults $15, seniors $12, children $6.

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Masks are required for audience members.

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Bemidji Community Theater members rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of Neil Simon’s farce, “Rumors” on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022. The play opens a two-week run on Friday, Feb. 11.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

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