Times for theater don't get much slower than the first week of January, when all the holiday shows have closed and the next batch won't open till mid-month. How smart of Antioch's Hapgood Theatre Company, then, to fill the void with its production of Neil Simon's Rumors. Staged by artistic director Josy Miller, Rumors is typically marshmallow-light comedy from the ever-popular Simon. In this particular 1988 farce, a bunch of rich people show up at a dinner party (not to be confused with Simon's The Dinner Party) to find a missing hostess and a host who's shot himself through the earlobe. The drollery and face-saving obfuscations commence when the fat cats decide to stonewall the cops and the media in order to remain comfortable at the expense of the working class until the revolution comes. Okay, maybe that last part is more subtext than text, but like most art it means different things to different people.
Contra Costa County's new professional theater company, Hapgood debuted in October with a production of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten, and its first season continues with Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive in February and Leslie Ayvazian's Lovely Day in May. Rumors opens at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 2. Thursdays through Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays through January 19 at Nick Rodriguez Theater, 213 F Street, Antioch. Tickets are $38, $19 for students, available at 925-219-8545 or HapgoodTheatre.org.
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