The game is the main point, it’s relatively innocent and usually no-one gets hurt, just a little blushed :-) With kissing hi and goodbye being the standard and French women being more “flirtatious”, it can be difficult for foreigners to correctly read a French woman’s body language.

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The space enabled HCT to stage many acclaimed productions, including two national and several regional premieres, and served as a training ground for “some very remarkable folks” who are still part of the HCT family today, Dietlein said.

But beginning in 2004, the theater’s popularity caught up with it once more. Adding seats raised the audience capacity from 530 to 613, and performances were put on as frequently as 16 times a week, with as many as five in a single day.

I guess it’s much more accepted in France for men and women to be friends.

However, if a woman is dining with a man, you can bet he will pick up the check. I usually trick them by asking to be excused (as if I was going to the lady’s room, grab the waiter and give him my credit card).

Even that grueling schedule couldn’t meet the demand, and with its financial obligation to the city for the building nearing fulfillment — the final payment was submitted in 2016, Dietlein said — HCT’s board of trustees arrived at a crossroads.

“The logical thing was to be able to try to build a bigger theater but still have the intimacy … and there wasn’t space for that here,” Dietlein said.

WEST VALLEY CITY — Chitty Chitty Bang Bang took flight. 1, is the carefully chosen closing bookend to what Dietlein described as “Act Two” of a legacy launched in the Salt Lake Valley by playwrights and HCT founders “Grandma and Grandpa” Ruth and Nathan Hale, who were the grandparents of Dietlein’s husband, HCT president and CEO Mark Dietlein.

More than 600 people auditioned for “Les Miserables.” A piano and its player slowly descended from the ceiling in “Ghost.” These are a few of the majestic moments that are part of Hale Centre Theatre’s 18-year history at its West Valley City location. Among them, a borrowed BMW motorcycle became lodged in the drywall in “Footloose,” an actress’ skirt tore off part of a wall during “Little Women,” and a misplaced gun prop drove an actor to instead confront his character’s nemesis with a knife in “West Side Story.” “How do you make that work? "They figured it out." Dietlein and music director Kelly De Haan, whose history with HCT spans 56 shows, recently shared these memories and more ahead of the opening of HCT’s final production in West Valley City before the theater company moves to its new Sandy location in November. Act One began when the Hales were about 75, Dietlein said, and decided to open a theater in South Salt Lake.

“We love West Valley City, and we love the people here, and we are so grateful, but to be able to be viable, business decisions needed to be made.” Though the two stages of the Sandy theater will enable HCT to boost attendance from the estimated 280,000 patrons of 2016 to upwards of half a million in the next two to three years, Dietlein said, there are some whom the move will leave behind.

“There are a certain number of actors that over the course of many years have come and gone — literally gone, passed — and I will miss those theater ghosts,” Dietlein said.

Nor did I know about this first date, second date and third date business.