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‘The Hasty Heart’ — a sure winner

SHARE ‘The Hasty Heart’ — a sure winner

THE HASTY HEART, written by John Patrick, directed by Maureen Eastwood, produced by Hale Center Theater Orem. Through July 23. Tickets vary in price. For information and reservations call 801-226-8600. Running time: 2 1/2 hours, including intermission.

OREM — Bring two handkerchiefs when you come to Hale Center Theater's rendition of "The Hasty Heart". One tissue to wipe away the tears from laughter, the other for tears of sadness and just about any other emotion you can think of. This production is more then the "gentle comedy" it's billed as, and it leaves its audience full and well-fed.

Set in the South Pacific during World War II, the audience finds itself in a military hospital recovery ward. Five soldiers from different countries share the ward with one empty bed left. They have not only become buddies, but dear friends. Into that mix is thrown a stubborn, bitter Scotsman in failing health. The commanding officer has ordered the five to befriend him.

The enjoyment from this show comes in watching how the relationships develop and how one man learns the value of friendship. This is a very strong script with well-timed humor to soften the edges. It is a clean show with nothing offensive, unless you're curious to know what's under a kilt.

All the cast members are strong in their roles, accents intact. And the scenes are well-timed. Yank (played by Mitch Hall), and Lachlen, the Scot, (played by Elwon Bakly) are the strongest characters. Each actor is powerful in his presentation and are emotionally charged. Digger (Jake Suazo), Kiwi (Brinton Wilkins), Blossom (Niankora Yeah Samake) and Tommy (David Hanson) are all portrayed well in their supporting roles. Kudos to Yeah as Blossom, an African soldier who speaks about three words but has one of the most touching scenes in the play. Sister Margaret, the ward nurse, is played by Emily Millett. As the only woman in the cast, Millett carries her own weight. Lon Keith plays the Colonel and Seth Johnson the Orderly. On certain nights Yank is played by Curt Doussett and Digger by David Gilliland.

The set is simple — military beds, side tables and mosquito netting, a small nurses' station, a fan on the roof and mats on the floor. Nothing is overdone, allowing the audience the privilege of "being there."

Don't miss this one.

E-mail: pugmire@desnews.com