MMSP brings big laughs to the stage

Published 10:37 pm Sunday, August 21, 2011

From left Chance Caruthers, Zach Clemons, Jade Rice, Aaron Moore, Karen Marie Black and Tyree Walker act out a scene during rehearsals on Aug. 17. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)


MONTEVALLO – The Montevallo Main Street Players acting in the upcoming play “Rumors” admitted that due to the comedic timing of the play, they’ve been having trouble keeping straight faces through rehearsals.

“It’s hard to not laugh, but I can’t laugh because it’s not funny for the characters,” said Jade Rice, an English and theater major at the University of Montevallo.

Rice said “Rumors” is her first play with the MMSP and her first time to do comedy.

“We started rehearsals in mid-July,” she said. “It’s a six-week process. We have ten actors in their early 20s playing 30- to 40-year-olds.”

Director James Kitchens said although the cast is young, they’re all theater majors.

“Even though the characters are in their mid-30s, early 40s, I have a lot of recent college graduates to do the show,” Kitchens said. “They’re all theater majors and have gotten theater degrees or studied theater.”

When asked about directing his second MMSP play, Kitchens said he really enjoys the “creative process of directing a play,” but there are “moments when I want to pull my hair out.”

“It’s been a really good process,” actor Zach Clemons said. “James is great about comedic timing. He’s good at finding not the funny, but the serious, which makes it funny.”

The play itself is a farce by Neil Simon, Kitchens said.

“Two guests are arriving at the deputy mayor and his wife’s 10th anniversary (party),” Kitchens said. “The wife is not there, the servants are not there and the husband is upstairs with a bullet hole through his ear. The couple is trying to hide what’s going on as more guests arrive. Everyone is trying to hide what’s happening to the next guest. It’s a very high energy play, fast dialogue, gunshots going off, screaming.”

Actress Karen Black said the play is “utter chaos.”

“It’s pretty hysterical, and it’s most difficult not to laugh,” Black said.

Aaron Moore will portray Ken Gorman, a wealthy lawyer who Moore described as “pretentious and uppity.”

“Why should people come?” Moore said. “It’s hilarious, at least to me. There’s not a lot of ‘Hmm, what does that mean?’ It’s just good fun and not a lot of thinking.”

“Rumors” contains mature language and subject matter. The Montevallo Main Street Players will perform “Rumors” Aug. 26-27 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. at the Parnell Memorial Library Theater, 277 Park Rd. in Montevallo. Tickets cost $10 for general admission and $5 for students. To reserve tickets, call 665-9207, ext. 6.