‘The Hit’ makes Utah premiere at Hale Center Theater Orem

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Dying is no laughing matter, unless it is the subject of a romantic comedy.

“The Hit,” written by Mike Buckley, opened June 23 at Hale Center Theater Orem.  The suspenseful comedy is the story of Susan, a terminally ill woman who hires an assassin to hurry things along so that her younger brother can collect her life insurance payoff and realize his dream of attending Stanford.   The incompetent hit man turns out to be a woman on her first job who tips things upside down, creating a scenario that is humorous and entertaining.  There is also a love interest that appears, further complicating Susan’s death wish.

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In this photo, Susan, played by Angie Ottosen-Staheli hides from Slavo, played by Josh Curtis, in "The Hit."
According to the theater’s website, the production  is a zany and heart-warming play about dying and learning to live.

The play was originally produced in San Diego and is making its first appearance in Utah with this production.

“It had great reviews in San Diego,” said Sean Murphy, director of marketing communications and development for the theater.  “It’s a fantastic comedic piece.”

Murphy is hopeful patrons will give the new play a shot.

“We know it’s new, but we know it will win their hearts,” Murphy said.

The play’s action takes place in an antique shop with the entire play unfolding in one setting.

“I love that the producers trusted their audiences enough to choose a contemporary, unknown script like ‘The Hit,’ ” said Angie Otoosen-Staheli, who plays the lead role of Susan Timmerman. “It’s fresh, current and the dialogue is very natural. I really think the script will spread around Utah like wildfire.”

The Hale theater is a unique venue that has developed a loyal following who return year after year.

“The Hale in Orem is a very intimate setting with theater in the round, giving the audience a unique perspective as the action literally happens all around them,” said Jeff Carter, a regular patron of the theater. “The costumes, props and effects are very professional for this size of a troupe.”

Admission prices range from $15.50-$19.50, with a $2 discount for children.  The play runs Mondays through Saturdays until July 30, with no performances June 28-29 or July 4-6.  Evening performances begin at 7:30 with 3 p.m. Saturday matinees on July 9, 16, 23, 30.  HCTO is located at 225 W. 400 North, Orem.  For more information visit haletheater.org or call the box office at 801-226-8600

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