Rumours fly in Hatrix Theatre’s upcoming production of the Neil Simon farce “Rumours” at McNally School, May 29-June 1.
Hatrix welcomes aboard some new faces as well as some familiar faces.
“It’s about four couples who get together to celebrate a fifth couple’s 10th anniversary. The first couple arrive to find the host has been shot and his wife is missing, they try to keep it from the second couple and they try to keep that from the third couple until the police show up,” summarized director Karolyn Harker, noting the playwright passed away last year, though she had already chosen to do the play before then.
“And as they try to not let the cat out of the bag, the rumours start to fly. Who could have shot Charlie and who is having an affair at the club and who is having an affair on the democratic campaign trail,” she continued, adding Vittorio Oliverio, who plays Ken in the play, brought Harker the play. She was immediately drawn to the writing.
“I was in a production of Neil Simon’s ‘Plaza Suite’ and really enjoyed the writing. It moves along quickly,” Harker said.
“We’ve got several new faces and some familiar faces,” she added. “They’ve all been wonderful.”
Oliverio is glad to be back with Hatrix. He was one of several actors in this play who were also in “12 Angry Jurors,” including Vicki Gibson, who plays Officer Welch; Lisa Gearing, who plays Officer Pudney; Brad Pace, who plays Glenn; Elise Tiffany, who plays Claire; and Richard Amery, who plays Ernie.
“I found this play because I love Neil Simon’s plays and I’ve never been in one, and wanted to do one, so I brought it to Karolyn,” Oliverio said.
“I’m excited about it,” he continued, noting he is enjoying playing deaf for a large part of the play.
“He’s a fun character to play,” he said.
Ken and his wife Chris are the first couple to discover their host, Charlie, has been shot and try to cover it up as the other couples arrive.
“But he screws it up,” he said, noting “Ken likes to be in control of everything,” but he isn’t in control in this case.
Taber actor Jocelyn Steinborn has become a familiar face performing with Playgoers of Lethbridge and in the One Act Play Festival this year.
“It’s my first show with Hatrix. The story is hilarious and I just wanted to be part of it,” said Steinborn, who plays the crystal-loving, somewhat paranoid Cassie, who is married to ambitious Poughkeepsie politician Glenn. She is enjoying playing a more soap operatic role.
“She‘s definitely more insecure than any other character I’ve played,” Steinborn observed.
“She’s a bit of a gold digger and very concerned with outward appearances.”
“I’ve really enjoyed it,” she said of the role.
Steinborn recruited co-worker Karl Aires into the production.
“I got suggested. But I’m glad I did,” said Aires, who was in a Playgoers of Lethbridge production several years ago and has performed with Lethbridge Musical Theatre.
“I was in a thriller with Playgoers of Lethbridge and I played a psycho killer, which is more like my personality,” he laughed.
He plays Lenny in “Rumors.”
“Lenny is an obnoxious accountant who is full of himself and married to Claire who he has no appreciation for, though deep down, he loves her a lot,” Aires described.
“The biggest challenge has been the time spent learning lines,” he said, adding, “But I’ve enjoyed meeting new friends.”
“I read ‘Rumours’ and it was so funny, I wanted to be part of it, that and getting to work with Karolyn again,” Pace said.
“I’m playing Glenn Couper, who is running for state senate and who is accused of being a philanderer by his wife, Cassie,” said Pace, who is hoping audiences will laugh.
“I hope the room will be filled with laughter,” he said.
“It’s a really funny play, so go and put your worries aside for two hours, sit back and laugh,” Oliverio advised.
The cast also includes newcomers Mary Coombs, who plays Chris, and Peri Tiffany as Cookie.
“Rumours” takes place at McNally School (http://www.mcnallycommunity.ca/, 210075 Township Road 8-2, Lethbridge County), May 29-June 1. Doors open at 7 p.m. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22. They are available online at eventbrite; at Conybeare Mercantile (422 6 Ave. S.); by calling Michelle at 403-929-1845 or from any cast member.