Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Kim Taylor

There is a new theater to watch for in the Bay Area. Big Deal Theater, founded by the very talented director and composer Billie Cox, opened its first season with Rumors by Neil Simon. The play, like many of Simonís works, is like a long TV sitcom full of comic one-liners. The characters are stereotypically affluent Americans driving BMWs and having household servants. There is little or no socially redeeming value in any of these characters.

Though this may not be the best choice to launch a new theater company, it is obvious that the director and all the actors put a lot of work into this production and that hard work enhances the flat characters enough to draw more laughter out of the audience than Simon ever put in.

Eight members of the cast of 10 are all involved in trying to cover up what appears to be a botched suicide attempt by a New York politician who ended up shooting himself in the earlobe. The cover up is comic and at times almost slapstick, and there are some particularly good performances by Stephanie Miller, Travis Darcy, Doug Kassel and Lisa Patten. But the entire cast is good and if you like mindless comedy youíll enjoy this performance.

For tickets or more information about this and future productions call (415) 789-8313 or visit

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