This is another busy week for theatergoers in Utah, with eight stage productions scheduled to open, including the world premiere of a new adaptation of "Dracula" (see separate story on this page) a national touring company of "Into the Woods" (see cover story on today's Arts Section), a couple of dramas and several comedies.
- BUS STOP, William Inge's 1955 comedy about a country bumpkin, en route from his remote ranch to a rodeo in the big city, who falls in love with the "angel" of his dreams (actually a singer in a sleazy dive), will be presented on Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 2-17, by the Theatrical Production Company, the community theater of West Valley City.Director Lance Orlando's cast includes Alysa Revell-Greenhalgh as Cherie, Scott Holman as Bo, the rambunctious cowboy, and Jesse Greathouse as Virgil Blessing, the fellow ranchhand stuck with shepherding Bo through his newfound adventures.
Also in the cast are Susan Norton as Grace, proprietor of a remote diner, where the bus is stranded during a sudden storm; Charmaine Christensen, Bob Walkingshaw, Chadwich Greenhalgh, Wm. Val Biesinger and Michael Nelsen, who is also assisting Orlando with the direction.
(The orginal Broadway production, which ran for 478 performances, featured Kim Stanley, Albert Salmi and Elaine Stritch. The acclaimed 1956 film version, directed by Joshua Logan, starred Marilyn Monroe, Don Murray, Betty Field and Arthur O'Connell, with a country store in central Idaho used as the locale for much of the filming.)
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17, at the David and Grace Harmon Family Home, 4090 S. 3600 West, West Valley City. Tickets are $4 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and youths. They're available at the door or in advance by calling 966-4282.
- AMAZING GRACE, adapted by director David Cropper from Don Robertson's play, is the story of a woman who, driven to the point of madness by love, kills her four young children, horrifying the small town of Connorsport, Ohio, where she has grown up and raised her own family.
The play examines the life of Grace Becker McElroy, from the time she has started keeping a scrapbook at an early age until one hot August night in 1975 when the scrapbook's last pages are filled - and she carries out her shocking act of destruction.
The main question is: why did she destroy her life and her family? As one character remarks, "Half the world saw her as crazy, the other half saw her as a monster, and both halves hated her."
The cast includes Theresa Raunikar as Grace, Greg Peter, Julie Weir, Roland Held, Zeke Totland, Annie Kleczkowski, Ron Mathews and Michelle Robinson.
Performances will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1-3, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov.4, at 7 p.m., with a matinee at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, in the Lab Theatre of the Performing Arts Building, adjacent to the book store on the University of Utah campus. For ticket information, call 581-6961.
- THE ELEPHANT MAN, Bernard Pomerance's drama about a horribly deformed young man named John Merrick and his relationship with Dr. Frederick Treves of the London Hospital, will be presented Nov. 1-6 at Utah Valley Community College, 800 W. 1200 South, Orem.
The play, directed by Randall King, will be UVCC's first entry into the American College Theatre Festival "Festivention" competition.
Unlike the film version of the play, the stage production requires the audience to use its imagination as it chronicles Merrick's rescue from the life of a carnival freak and his effort to achieve a dignified station in society in Victorian England. The actor portraying Merrick (Mike Carrasco) uses no special makeup or devices, just the movement and contortions of his own body, to create the character.
Others in the cast are Bob Manning as Dr. Treves, Mike Robinson as Dr. Gomm, Maryann Fitt as Mrs. Kendall, T.J. Brewster as ross and Jon Carter as Walshom How.
The opening night's performance will be a dinner theater presentation, with dinner at 6:30 p.m., followed by the play. Remaining performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 2-3 and 5-6 in the school's grand ballroom.
Tickets for the dinner-theater performance must be purchased in advance by calling 222-8000, Ext. 612. Admission for this performance is $10 each.
Tickets for subsequent performances, available at the door, are $4 for non-students and $3 for students.
- THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS, an 18th Century comedy by Carlo Goldoni, will be presented at Weber State College, Ogden, Tuesday through Saturday, Oct. 30-Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m.
Director James C. Christian explains that the three-act play is set within the traditional framework of the improvised commedia dell'Arte.
"This script plays out more like `The Marx Brothers Meet the Three Musketeers'," says Christian.
The fast-paced farce has an intricate plot involving Truffaldino, a chap who undertakes to serve two masters and thereby collect pay from two sources. One is a woman, Beatrice, who is masquerading as her own brother in order to search for her lover. The other is Florindo, the man Beatrice is seeking. The play focuses on Truffaldino's attempts to keep his dual employment secret.
The cast includes Bret Wheadon as Truffaldino, Teresa Bramwell as Teresa and Brad Schroeder as Florindo. Also in the cast are Justin Ivie, Gregory Duffin, Amber Smith, Brent Oscarson, Angela Cole, Niels Adair, Russell Peterson, Jodi Longstroth, Laura Fisher and Travis Rasmussen.
"The Servant of Two Masters" will be performed in the Allred Theatre of the Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2.50 for students and senior citizens. They're available at the Dee Events Center ticket office Mondays-Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 5p.m., and at the Browning Center box office one hour prior to performance. Call 626-8500 for reservations or further information.
- LITTLE MARY SUNSHINE, a tune-filled satire of old-fashioned operettas, will be presented Tuesday through Saturday, Oct. 30-Nov. 3, in the Graff Fine Arts Center Theatre at Dixie College, St. George.
The cast includes Tiffany T. Durrant in the title role, with Kyle Lewis as Capt. Warington, Paul Jensen as Cpl. Billy Jester and Jess Woodward as Yellow Feather, a disgruntled Indian.
Performances will be 8 p.m. nightly. Tickets are available at the theater box office.
- THE CRUISE OF LOVE, a romantic comedy that takes place aboard a "love boat" cruise ship, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 2-26, at the Valley Center Theater in Lindon.
Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for students and senior citizens, and $20 for an immediate family.
For reservations, call 224-5310.