BIDDEFORD — When you run a small community theater, it pays to be penny-wise.

Linda Sturdivant, artistic director at City Theater in Biddeford, proved economical and enterprising when arranging the theater’s season-opening production of Neil Simon’s “Rumors.”

The set is palatial suburban townhouse, requiring high-end furniture and decor. She found the perfect chandelier at ReStore in Portland, the retail arm of Habitat for Humanity that sells used furniture, fixtures and house ware. Problem was, she couldn’t afford it.

Turns out, the store was in the process of moving from its former location on Forest Avenue to a new spot on Warren Avenue. The chandelier weighs 300 pounds, and moving it presented a challenge at ReStore.

They made a deal: Sturdivant could use the chandelier for free as long as she returned it to the new location when “Rumor” ended its run, Sturdivant got her chandelier, and ReStore didn’t have to wrestle with it.

The elegant farce opens Friday and runs two weekends through Nov. 3. It’s a widely produced comedy, a staple of the community theater and a great way to begin the season, Sturdivant said.

“I think it’s Neil Simon’s cleverest writing,” she said. “The characters are well-defined, and they’re also distinct. Everybody likes to laugh. And like any farce, it has to

The elegant farce opens Friday and runs two weekends through Nov. 3. It’s a widely produced comedy, a staple of the community theater and a great way to begin the season, Sturdivant said.

“I think it’s Neil Simon’s cleverest writing,” she said. “The characters are well-defined, and they’re also distinct. Everybody likes to laugh. And like any farce, it has to go fast. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.”

You know the story: Four rich couples get together in a posh townhouse for a dinner party to celebrate the host couple’s 10th anniversary. The hostess goes missing, and the host, who happens to the be deputy mayor of New York, has put a bullet through his earlobe.

The humor occurs in the cover up. As the couples try to keep the news from the cops and media, the show evolves into a series of mishaps, confusion and miscommunication.

The play opened on the West Coast, and moved to Broadway in fall 1988. Christine Baranski won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play. The show lasted 535 performances during its Broadway run.

Sturdivant directs a cast of 10: Rebecca Rinaldi and Karl Carrigan as Chris and Ken Gorman; Jamie Schwartz and Rebbeca Cole as Lenny and Claire Ganz; Gretchen Wood and Tad Williams as Cookie and Ernie Cusak, and Cate DeMeule and Rick Kusturin as Glenn and Cassie Cooper. Shay Ayres and Owen White play police officers Welch and Pudney.

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be reached at 791-6457 or:bkeyes@pressherald.comTwitter: pphbkeyes