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Hatrix Theatre keeps ahead of the “Rumors”

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Rumors fly in Hatrix Theatre’s upcoming production of the Neil Simon farce “Rumors” at McNally school, May 29-JunBrad Pace and Jocelyn Steinborn rehearse for Hatrix Theatre’s production of Rumours, May 29-June 1 at McNally school. Photo by Richard Amerye 1.
Hatrix welcomes aboard some new faces as well as some familiar faces.

“It’s about four couple who get together to celebrates a fifth couple’s tenth 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, who 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. They’ve all been wonderful,” Harker said.
Vittorio Oliverio, who plays Ken in Rumors, 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 and Elise Tiffany who plays Claire and Richard Amery, who plays Ernie.Vittorio Oliverio rehearses for Hatrix Theatre’s production of Rumours, May 29-June 1 at McNally school. Photo by Richard Amery

“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,” he said.
“I’m excited about it,” he continued, he said, 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.
“ Ken likes to be in control of everything, but he isn’t here,” he said.

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 ambitions Poughkeepsie politician Glenn, played by Brad Pace. 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,” she said.
“I’ve really enjoyed it,” she said.

She recruited Karl Airey into the production.

“I got suggested. But I’m glad I did,” said Airey 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,” Airey described.Karl Aires and Vittorio Oliverio rehearse for Hatrix Theatre’s production of Rumours, May 29-June 1 at McNally school. Photo by Richard Amery

“ The biggest challenge has been the time spent learning lines,” he said.
 “But I’ve enjoyed meeting new friends,” he continued.

“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,” Pace said, who is hoping audiences will laugh.

“I hope the room will be filled with laughter,” Pace 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 Combs who plays Chris and Peri Tiffany as Cookie.
Rumors takes place at McNally school (,  210075 Township Road 8-2, Lethbridge County, T1K 8H3.), May 29-June 1. The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22. They are available online at eventbrite;  at Conybeare Mercantile (422 6 ave s);  Call Michelle at 403 929 1845 or from any cast member.

A version of this story appears in the May 22, 2019 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times/Shopper

— by Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
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