No, it isn’t just talk spreading around town. The truth is Clinton’s Old Bluff Theatre Company is bringing the Neil Simon play “Rumors” to the stage this month.
“It’s a hilarious comedy,” said Lucy Lockamy, artistic director of Old Bluff and the director of the play. “There are hilarious characters and circumstances.”
Sponsored by the Clinton-Sampson Rotary Club, performances are scheduled for Thursday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 23 at 2:30 p.m. All performances will be held at A Peaceful Path, 111 Ace Plaza, in the old Ace Hardware building in downtown Clinton.
The play is set in “a lavish Manhattan townhouse,” the home of Charlie and Myra Brock, explained Lockamy. The Brocks have guests coming to their house to help them celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. However, when the first couple arrives, they discover that their host has shot himself through the earlobe and their hostess has disappeared. As more guests arrive, “confusions and miscommunications mount” as each tries to cover up the incident yet learn the real story.
“It’s a modern comedy of manners,” she added.
And it’s a comedy that the local community picked out themselves. Back in September 2013, Old Bluff Theatre Company hosted “A Night of Comedy,” a cocktail party-like fundrasier at the Sampson County Agri-Expo Center to raise funds for their future productions. During the evening, company members entertained attendees by performing selected scenes from three different comedies. At the end of the night, attendees voted on their favorite performance — the play that they wanted to see the company perform this spring — and “‘Rumors’ won by a landslide,’” said Lockamy on Tuesday.
Bringing the play to life is a 10-person cast made up of local actors and actresses — Natalie Pope, Clay Boney, Lisa Turlington, Kevin Kiernan, Brooke Beatty, Frank Bradshaw, Nicholas Ziolkowski, Haley Parker, Lucy Lockamy and her husband, Justin Lockamy.
“It’s more of an ensemble play,” shared the director, noting that the play doesn’t have typical lead actors. “Everybody is involved in the craziness together; it’s group chaos.”
“It’s a fabulous cast,” she continued. “We’ve been in rehearsals about a month and we’ve had so much fun.”
And the cast wants the community to make plans to come out to one of their performances and join in on the fun.
“You should come see it simply because there’s not ten seconds that goes by without a hilarious moment,” encouraged Lockamy, adding that the play is geared for an adult audience, containing adult language and content. “It’s a chance for you to sit back in your seat and laugh the whole time.”
Lockamy expressed her thanks to the members of the Clinton-Sampson Rotary Club for helping to make the performances possible through their sponsorship of the play. “We’re lucky and proud to have their sponsorship for the production. Not only are they a great humanitarian organization but they’re also a valued patron of the arts.”
The upcoming performances have also been made possible by a $400 grassroots grant which the company recently received from the Sampson Arts Council to help pay for the play’s expensive performance rights. The play is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.
“Please don’t miss it. Bring all your friends,” said Lockamy, adding that attending one of the performances would make for a fun girls’ night out, couples’ night out, or date night.
Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at oldblufftheatre.org to reserve a seat, or can be bought in person at A Peaceful Path or a the box office the nights of the performances.
Old Bluff Theatre’s 2014 season patrons are granted two tickets and concessions for each production. If interested in becoming a patron, visit the company’s website for more information.
“We’re still looking for season patrons,” said Lockamy. “It comes with great perks.” Patron spots will remain available until March 11.
Also follow Old Bluff Theatre Company — which recently became a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation — on Facebook for updates and promotions.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.