Hickory – In David Lindsay-Abaire’s most recent comedy, RIPCORD, Abby has always had a quiet room to herself at the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility. If a new roommate was assigned to the second bed, Abby — cantankerous and private — quickly got them out. That is until enthusiastic, optimistic Marilyn arrives and Abby realizes that if she is going to get this one out, she’ll have to do it herself. The high-stakes bet that the two women make leads quickly to an all-out war of comic proportions.

In the upcoming production at the Hickory Community Theatre, which opens on March 25, these polar opposites are played by two accomplished actors, Connie Bools and Dorothy Collier-Best. Each of them has been the recipient of multiple Kay Awards for their past work at HCT. This talented pair have only shared the stage once before, in 2015 for THE GAME’S AFOOT.

Connie Bools, who plays Abby has been active with HCT for many years, appearing in dozens of productions. Recipient of seven Kay Awards, some of her most recent roles include Mrs. Alexander in THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME (Kay Award – Outstanding Ensemble), Aoife in OUTSIDE MULLINGAR (Kay Award – Outstanding Ensemble) and Jann in JUNK (Kay Award – Outstanding Character Actress), a role she performed twice, in 2015 and 2016. Originally from Bellvue, KY, Bools and her husband John relocated to Hickory in 1988.

When asked about what drew her to RIPCORD, Bools replied, “I was part of another David Lindsay-Abaire play and it was my favorite show. I wanted to be part of another of his shows. Abby does not suffer fools.”

Dorothy Collier-Best, who plays Marilyn made her HCT debut in the 2011 production of WHITE CHRISTMAS as Martha Watson, the role for which she received her first Kay Award as Outstanding Character Actress. Some of her favorite roles since then include Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn in THE MUSIC MAN (Kay Award – Outstanding Character Actress) and Frau Blücher in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (Kay Award – Outstanding Supporting Actress.) Collier-Best arrived in Hickory 16 years ago, moving here with her late husband, James Best.

Collier-Best says they were drawn to Hickory by “the beauty of the area, the chance to experience all four season, fishing opportunities and the chance to return to my first love and passion, live theatre.”

Performances of RIPCORD are Fridays and Saturdays, March 25 through April 9 at 7:30 pm; Sunday, April 3 at 2:30 pm and Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 pm. Opening night, March 25 features reduced-price tickets: $12 for adults and $10 for youth & students. Tickets for all other performances are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students. RIPCORD is rated PG-13 due to adult language.

Tickets are available online at hickorytheatre.org, or by phone at 828-328-2283. Weekday box office hours are 12-5, Wednesday through Friday, or one half-hour before any performance.

Due to the continued risk of Covid-19 in Catawba County, and in accordance with the latest guidance from the CDC, the Hickory Community encourages patrons to wear a mask or other face covering while inside the building.

The Hickory Community’s 73rd season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and Sunbelt Xpress. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.
PHOTO (L-R): Dorothy Collier-Best is Marilyn and Connie Bools is Abby in RIPCORD, opening March 25. Photo by Lauren Albers.