Eleven productions are scheduled to open this week on stages throughout Utah, including the national touring company of "A Chorus Line" and seven different Christmas shows, highlighted by the new "Christmas in the Air" at Promised Valley Playhouse.
The week's highlights are:- A CHORUS LINE: THE FAREWELL TOUR, the official touring company featuring several performers from the record-breaking Broadway production, will play for eight performances at the Capitol Theatre.
Play dates are Tuesday-Thursday, Nov. 27-29, at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m.
Seating is priced at $17, $22 and $29 for the Friday matinee; $22, $27 and $35 for the Friday and Saturday evening performances, and $20, $25 and $32 for the Tuesday-Thursday evening and Saturday-Sunday matinee performances.
Tickets are available at the Salt Palace box office, 363-7681.
The company's Salt Lake stop is being sponsored by the new Theater League of Utah, which has a two-show season for 1990-91 - "A Chorus Line" and "Les Miserables," coming to the Capitol Theatre next April.
Performers from the "A Chorus Line" cast will also be donating their time and talents for a cabaret-style AIDS benefit on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 11 p.m. at the Broadway Stage, 272 S. Main.
Admission is $10 each, with proceeds from the tickets going to the Utah AIDS Foundation's new program to provide hot meals for AIDS victims unable to prepare their own meals, and proceeds from the auction of "Chorus Line"-related items earmarked for Actors' Equity's "Broadway Cares" AIDS relief program.
To buy tickets in advance, contact the Utah AIDS Foundation at 450 S. 900 East, Suite 205.
- DEGRUCHY'S MANTLE, an original play written and directed by John Newman, will be presented in the Lab Theatre of the University of Utah's Performing Arts Building, adjacent to the campus bookstore.
Performances are Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., with a matinee on Friday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m. For tickets, contact the Pioneer Memorial Theatre box office at 581-6961. Tickets will also be available at the door. Due to limited seating in the Lab Theatre, advance reservations are suggested.
Inspired by a Norman legend, the work was one of four plays selected last year by the American College Theatre Festival to be read at the regional finals, where it received the Meritorious Achievement Award. It was also chosen as a finalist in the South East Region Young Playwrights Festival at Theatre Winter Haven in Florida in 1989.
It is the story of five teenage sisters who inherit a magic mantle from their deceased, widowed mother and use it unwisely. Not believing the magical powers, each sister, unknowingly holding the mantle, makes a wish - wishes for the different animals and plants of their desires. Slowly each sister starts to change into the individual objects and they begin to grow claws, wings, fur, roots and flowers.
The cast includes Mary Bishop, Dierdre Robins, Faith Partee, Marian Partee, Margrett Greenlee, Heather Maloy, Brady Taylor, Jim Rounds and Roman Bennett.
- BABES IN TOYLAND, City Rep's annual production of Victor Herbert's popular Christmas operetta, opens Friday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m. on the Court Stage (main floor) of the Utah Theatre, 148 S. Main.
The cast includes Jennifer O'Haley, Sherri Fox, Owen Richardson, Jim Miller, Nigel James, Jim Dale, Michael Hohl and Jeff Taylor.
The show features such storybook and Mother Goose characters as Little Tommy Tucker, Little Miss Muffet, the Three Little Pigs, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood.
Joanne M. Parker directed the production, with Marilyn May Montgomery as choreographer.
Following the Friday opening, the show continues at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, 6, 8, 10, 14, 20, 22, 27 and 28, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Dec. 1, 15 and 29, and 4 p.m. on Dec. 24. Tickets are $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for children. Call 532-6000.
- PAGES LANE THEATER in Centerville is faced with some more juggling of calendar dates, due to last-minute construction and inspection delays.
The theater will have its official "grand opening" with a two-day run of "Cheaper by the Dozen," on Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1, at 8 p.m. both nights, after which "Scrooge" will be staged for three weeks, to be followed by more performances of "Cheaper by the Dozen."
"Scrooge" will run from Monday, Dec. 3, through Dec. 22, with "Cheaper by the Dozen" resuming on Wednesday-Friday, Dec. 26-28, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 29, at 3:30 and 8 p.m., and Friday, Saturday and Monday, Jan. 4, 5 and 7, at 8 p.m., with a matinee at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 5.
The theater is expected to begin some sort of "normal" operation (a relief, after attempting to rehearse three productions at nearly the same time) with the Jan. 11 opening of "The Curious Savage."
The theater is located at 292 E. Pages Lane, Centerville, just west of Dick's Market.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for children for weekdays and Saturday matinees, and $8 for adults and $5 for children on Friday and Saturday evenings. Call 298-1302.
- CHRISTMAS IN THE AIR, conceived and directed by Randy Boothe, artistic director for the BYU Young Ambassadors, is an evening of holiday vignettes at Promised Valley Playhouse, 132 S. State, ranging from scenes from "The Nutcracker" to the Nativity, with "A Christmas Carol" and a few Farley Family favorites tossed in for good measure.
The show opens to the public on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m., continuing nightly on Tuesdays through Saturdays until Dec. 22, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Dec. 8, 15 and 22.
Featured performers include James Arrington and Grand Old Opry singer Janine Lindsay.
Tickets range from $5 to $10. Call 364-5606.
- A CHRISTMAS CAROL opens a three-week run at the StageStop at Hampton's Ford, Collinston (between Logan and Tremonton), with Larry Cannon and David Weekes alternating in the lead role of penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge.
Cannon has been seen by Cache Valley theatergoers in the title role of the Martin Harris pageant, and Weekes recently starred in "Petticoats and Shootin' Irons" at the famous Pink Garter in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Soni Barris is directing the show. Other cast members include Randi Harrington, Brent Kirkland, Gary Willden, Shirleen Anderson, Michelle Jeppsen, Kevin Hall, Barry Carter, Bryan Larsen and Bill Frandsen.
The play opens Friday, Nov. 30, then continues Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays through Dec. 22 at 8 p.m., with matinees at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22. Tickets are $5 for all performances except those on Mondays, which are $4 for youths and senior citizens or $20 for all members of immediate families. Reservations are required. Call 257-7330.
- A CHRISTMAS CAROL will also open the 1990-91 season for Utah State Theatre in the Morgan Theatre of the Chase Fine Arts Center at USU in Logan.
Director Colin Johnson said a few additions have been made to the script to help clarify the character of Scrooge.
"We hope to gradually enhance aspects of the production as it becomes a Christmas tradition for the community," he said.
Vosco Calll, professor in USU's department of theater arts, has been cast in the role of Scrooge.
Performances will be Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, and Wednesday-Saturday, Dec. 5-8, at 8 p.m. nightly.
Tickets are available at the USU Ticket Office in the Smith Spectrum and at the door. The ticket office no longer reserves tickets by telephone; paid reservations may be made by calling with a Visa or Mastercard number. Adult admission is $6.50, senior citizens, youth and USU faculty/staff $5.50 and USU students with valid activity cards $3.25.
In addition, Dec. 5 and 6 have been set aside as "family nights," with special $25 passes admitting two adults and up to five children. They're available by advance purchase only at the Smith Spectrum Ticket Office.
No children under 5 will be admitted to any performances.
Utah State Theatre has also teamed with the Sub-for-Santa program this year, according to public relations director Corynne Tueller.
"Extravagantly decorated Christmas trees at the theater serve a dual purpose," Tueller said. "They enhance the holiday decor and are available for purchase. Student organizations include Fashion Group, Associated Society of Interior Designers, Associate Home Economics and the Family Life Council, which decorated and donated the trees to the Sub-for-Santa program.
Bid boxes will be placed in front the trees for those interested in buying a tree. All proceeds from sales benefit the Sub-for-Santa program.
- ALMOST A MIRACLE, a Christmas comedy written and directed by Paul Burt, whose script was selected as part of the Heritage Theatre's annual playwriting contest, opens Friday, Nov. 30, and will continue on Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. through Dec. 17, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Dec. 8 and 15.
The theater is located at 2505 S. Highway 89 in Perry, between Brigham City and Ogden.
Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for students and senior citizens, and $3 for children under 12, with family rates on Monday nights and discounts for groups of 15 or more at all performances. For reservations, call 723-8392, Brigham City.
Burt, a former educator, has directed and acted in a number of Heritage Theatre plays. The plot for "Almost A Miracle" revolves around a family discovering that their goals and dreams conflict but can be worked out with understanding, love and humor.
- TEN LITTLE INDIANS, the Agatha Christie suspense classic, will be presented Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 27-Dec. 1, at 8 p.m. in the Graf Fine Arts Center at Dixie College, St. George.
Director Donald R. Hinton's cast includes Aaron Bradbury, Bethany Godwin, Leo Hume, Erin Leavitt, Josh Stanley and Eric Davis.
- THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER, the comedy about a bunch of unruly hooligans who become part of a church Christmas pageant, teaching the congregation something about love and respect along the way, is being presented by the Valley Center Theater, Lindon, on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 30 through Dec. 15, then Mondays through Saturdays, Dec. 17-22.
All performances are 7:30 p.m.
For reservations, call 224-5310. The theater is located at 780 N. 2nd East.
- THE MAN WHO NEVER DIED, Barrie Stavis' play about events surrounding the execution of union activist Joe Hill in Utah 75 years ago, is being staged by the College of Eastern Utah theater department in the school's Geary Theatre on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $3.50 for adults and $2.50 for students/senior citizens.
Director Dian Henderson said, "Joe Hill's story is one of the most infamous in the history of the American labor movement. It's appropriate for eastern Utah to commemorate his contribution to workers' rights because of the strong influence unions have had in this area."
Reserved seats are available in advance from the CEU cashier's window or by calling 637-2120, Ext. 334.