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The Daily Tar Heel

'Rumors' entices audiences from beginning to end

“Rumors,” Thursday at 8 p.m.

Kenan Theatre Company and LAB! Theatre’s production “Rumors” started with a bang Thursday night — literally.

From the first gunshot to the last frantic lie, “Rumors” was a fast-paced and highly entertaining production that kept audience members roaring with laughter.

The play, which chronicled a high-class dinner party gone wrong, followed husband and wife Ken and Chris, who arrive first to the party to find the hostess missing and the host shot through the earlobe.

Chaos ensued immediately after the discovery — guest after guest arrived and Ken and Chris’s futile attempt to cover up the affair soon unraveled.

The play was set in a fancy, two-story mansion. The relatively simple set was flawlessly incorporated into the story, and each of the actors capitalized on the space, using doorways, couches, stairs, and alcohol props to heighten their frantic movements.

The eccentric and oblivious characters were thoughtfully portrayed by each of the production’s cast members. Betsy Alexandre and Byron Frazelle as Chris and Ken opened the show and gave audience members satires of the rich and oblivious without overdoing their roles.

And as the show progressed, Alexandre portrayed a hilarious drunk and inept Chris, which kept the audience laughing through even the more serious moments in the play.

Lenny, played by Cameron Stuart, was also a well-done performance. Stuart’s portrayal of Lenny kept audiences on their toes — just when they thought Lenny was a voice of reason, he proved to be just as helpless as the rest of the dinner guests.

Stuart’s frantic monologue to close the play was also extremely well-done. It was an intricate, exhausting, hilarious re-telling of the night’s events that elicited loud applause from the audience with its dramatic finish.

Complementing Stuart’s English Lenny was another British accent on stage, from Sam Fletcher, who played Ernie.

Goofy and arguably the most naive of them all — and that’s saying a lot — Ernie was a constant source of laughter for the audience, which Fletcher provided without being overly ridiculous.

The fourth couple to arrive at the party — Glenn and Cassie — was less believable. Their dramatic dialogue was a lull in the play’s cookiness and enterntainment, but they were soon integrated into the rest of the dinner party and the chaos resumed.

Excitement and suspense consumed the entire plot of the play, as audience members were constantly waiting to find out what really happened to the host and hostess, and though the truth was never revealed, watching the incompetent characters try to resolve the situation themselves was more than enough.

Overall, Kenan Theatre and LAB!’s first-ever collaboration proved to be a success, with thoughtfully crazy performances by many of the cast members producing two hours of side-splitting laughter.

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