A Celebration of All Things Cultural, Artistic, and Entertaining in Madison
Mar 22, 2013
The Madison Theatre Guild’s Wild Night
In the Neil Simon comedy Rumors, four couples are invited to a party at the Deputy Mayor of New York’s posh home. When the guests arrive, they find the politician’s bloody body, a gun, a suicide note—and his wife and cook missing. Not only do the couples have to figure out what happened, they also have to keep the news from the police and the press.
Before the Madison Theatre Guild presents this evening that spins wildly out of control, director and actor Lee Waldhart offered some insights into the show.
Why did you want to get involved in Rumors?
I love the show, first of all. And I wanted to do something for the Theatre Guild.
Have you worked on Neil Simon plays before?
Oh my gosh, yes. This is my fourth time on stage as Lenny and my third time directing Rumors. And I’ve done other plays as well.
You’re co-directing and acting in the play. What’s it been like to do both?
It’s worked out great. The first three weeks, I cast and blocked the show. Then Rebecca [Jallings, the co-director] came in and had complete license to do whatever she wanted.
What’s your character, Lenny, like?
Lenny’s an accountant who’s privileged enough to work with people with big money. He rubs elbows with movers and shakers.
Has your approach to Lenny changed as you’ve played him over the years?
It always changes a little bit when you have different people feeding you. This is the second time with Patty Whitely as my wife. We’ve done other shows together, too. She’s my stage wife.
What’s been the biggest challenge of this show?
Wearing so many hats—I’m doing the props, sets, acting and directing.
What are you most looking forward to in presenting this play?
The audience reaction. Even though the play takes place in the ’90s, there’s so much truth with what’s going on today, with the class distinction.
What should audiences expect?
We’re saying “Laughter is guaranteed or your money back.” We did that once before and we’ve never had to give money back. It’s really that funny.
Photo courtesy of the Madison Theatre Guild’s trailer of Rumors.