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Husband, wife lead Hale Center Theater Orem cast of ‘Cash on Delivery’

Daniel Fenton Anderson, left, Greg Hansen and Elizabeth Golden star in “Cash on Delivery” at Hale Center Theater Orem. The show runs Dec. 31-Feb. 4.
Daniel Fenton Anderson, left, Greg Hansen and Elizabeth Golden star in “Cash on Delivery” at Hale Center Theater Orem. The show runs Dec. 31-Feb. 4.
Suzy Oliveira

OREM — A cast and crew often become like family as they rehearse a production together, but in some instances, it’s a literal family affair.

In Hale Center Theater Orem’s upcoming comedy, “Cash on Delivery,” real-life husband and wife, Greg and Rachel Woodward Hansen, play spouses Eric and Linda Swann.

“We have chemistry, especially when playing a couple. It’s natural to be real with her,” Eric Hansen said. “Sharing the stage with Rachel makes my acting better.”

The couple, who met while performing in an HCTO production of “Fiddler on the Roof” more than 10 years ago, have also taken on leading roles together in other shows. The Hansens played Gomez and Wednesday in HCTO’s production of “Addams Family” last year and Harold and Marian in Sundance’s “The Music Man” this past summer.

Another fun fact: Rachel Hansen is pregnant, and their baby will be making its stage debut in “Cash on Delivery” and its world debut in May.

Joining the Hansens in this British comedy are eight other cast members. The story focuses on Eric Swann (played by Greg Hansen), who has recently lost his job. One day, he receives a Social Security check intended for a former tenant and decides to cash it himself.

“He makes a couple of bad choices, but it turns into a house of cards and starts falling apart,” Greg Hansen said. “The government keeps sending more money, and he keeps committing fraud even when he’s trying to correct previous lies. He took advantage of the system and then it starts taking advantage of him.”

Director Barta Lee Heiner calls the show, written by Michael Cooney, a mad romp.

“Eric realizes he has gone too far and tries to get out but finds himself trapped within the system,” she said. “I think the audience will enjoy the antics he goes to in trying to keep the truth from his wife and escape the system and prosecution.”

Heiner said the most challenging part of directing “Cash on Delivery” is finding the character motivation for some of the crazy dialogue.

“We have a great cast, and they handle the dialogue so well,” she said.

Because of the interjections, assumptions and mistaken identities happening between characters, Greg Hansen said the show’s script is complicated to memorize.

“I have to know the dialogue like the back of my hand. Comedy is like playing a drum: It’s all about timing. You’re building and releasing tension with comedy,” he said. “As an ensemble, you have to find a good rhythm.”

Greg Hansen said he sees a connection between performing and the theme of “Cash on Delivery.”

“Despite all the stuff Eric’s doing, what wins the day is being honest with everyone. That’s also true for comedy. The key to good comedy is being honest about what you’re saying,” he said. “As a character, you have to find some place of reality and truth to what you’re saying, even in extraordinary circumstances.”

Content advisory: "Cash on Delivery" contains mild swearing and mild sexual innuendo.

If you go …

What: “Cash on Delivery”

Where: Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North, Orem

When: Dec. 31, 10 p.m., and Monday-Saturday, Jan. 2-Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m. with 3 p.m. Saturday matinees. The Dec. 31 show includes party favors and a light buffet.

How much: $22-$24 for general admission, $16-$18 for children; $36-$40 for Dec. 31 show.

Phone: 801-226-8600

Web: haletheater.org

Emily Edmonds is an online communications instructor for BYU-Idaho. She is the former editor of BYU's Marriott Alumni Magazine. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's in mass communications from BYU.