Live Theatre

Rumors premiers at the Old Town Theater

Rumors premiers at the Old Town Theatre

Wednesday night Taste of Temecula sat-in on a dress rehearsal of the upcoming Temecula Valley Players rendition of Neil Simon’s play, Rumors.

Some mature language.

The Temecula Valley Players put on an exciting performance in Neil Simon's, Rumors. Photograph by Natalie Mills

Rumors directed by Mark Weisenberg, and starred in by local actors including; Taste of Temecula’s own Loren Scott. This play is based around the hilarious events that unfold around a dinner party attended by several wealthy couples who are there to celebrate their host’s 10th wedding anniversary. Things go wrong even before the curtain opens, and then spiral out of control. The hostess is no where to be found, the cook is gone and the Deputy Mayor of New York, passed out with a gunshot to the ear. The group worried about their reputations, tries desperately to keep the news from the police and local reporters.

Chris (Lisa Wunderlich) and Ken (Russell Rappel Schmid) introduce the mayhem early in the show. Photograph by Natalie Scott

The Temecula Valley Players cast put on a very strong performance and I quickly found myself immersed in the action and dialog. Having never attended a local production before, I was uncertain what to expect. I need not have been worried and the cast carried the job off admiringly, and it was a highly enjoyable performance.

Having never been backstage on a production it was a revealing look into just what goes into a stage production. Yes, it’s pretty much like you have seen in the movies, an organized chaos where everyone is in a hurry to get a million and one last-minute things done. At the epicenter of this whirlwind was veteran Director Mark Weisenberg.

He was comfortable and relaxed as the clock counted down to stage time, things that could be fix were, and those that could not be, were noted down. His considerable presence and unquestioned authority was a given by all. It is the same sort of loyalty and respect that a top Chef will inspire in his brigade. It is an interesting analogy to explore, as I never entertained the prospect that the work actors and stage crew perform is similar to what happens in a restaurant kitchen. The end product from both realms is an elated guest who talks about their experience.

The most hilarious bit of the show though was something the public will never see…microphone checks. Each actor had their own routine and foibles, but none more so than the actress who is acting in the Vagina Monologues, who could not wait to give us a sneak peek at her upcoming performance.

If you are searching for something more interesting than dinner and a movie, you would be well advised to attend Rumors. Get dressed up and have an early dinner at one of the many Old Town restaurants, enjoy the show, sip wine in the theater courtyard and enjoy the new-found night life in Old Town after words.

Loren Scott gave a great performance as Lenny with Hope Davidson as Claire. Photograph by Natalie Mills

The Temecula Valley Players is a local nonprofit group dedicated providing high quality live community theater productions for entertainment, cultural enrichment, and education. If you would like learn more about the TVP, visit them at


Chris: Lisa Wunderlich

Ken: Russell Rappel Schmid

Claire: Hope Davidson

Lenny: Loren Scott

Ernie: Pat Moran

Cookie: Sonia Watson

Glenn: Todd Meyer

Cassie: Jennifer Arreola

Officer Welch: Billy Clebeck

Officer Pudney: Josh Pudleiner

Production Team:

Director: Mark Weisenberg

Stage Manager: Chris Bridge

Technical Director: Mark McCullough

Props Mistress: Bev Nault

Producers: Patti Drew & Jodi Davis

The performance starts February 11 and runs through February 21 on Thursday through Sunday. See the box office for times and ticket prices

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