Six plays are opening this week on stages along the Wasatch Front, including the Utah premiere of "Ladies' Room," a work by Salt Lake playwright Aden Ross (see today's cover story). Other productions include a 200-year-old period piece, a student drama at the University of Utah, a Chekhov drama, a comedy classic and a theatrical concert featuring the songs of Lerner and Loewe.
- SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER, is a classic comedy written more than 200 years ago by one of England's greatest playwrights, Oliver Goldsmith. Set in 1773, it shows how two young men are duped into mistaking the home of Squire Hardcastle for an inn and their consequent ill-mannered treatment of their host, and the misunderstandings, intrigues and discoveries that eventually lead to the satisfactory conclusion of three love affairs.Director Hester Schell's cast for the Babcock Theatre production includes Richard and Marilyn Scharine as Squire and Mrs. Hardcastle, with Trev-or A. Williams, Britt Sady, Wendee Wilde, Derek Johnson, Steven R. Dal-limore, Theresa Raunikar, Joe F. Henderson, Michael Shane, Christopher A. Borg, Trevor Black, Mathew Piper and Adam Middleton-Watts.
Schell notes that the play is "an example of the laughing tradition, a rejection of the artificiality of the restoration theatrical style, and is simply good comedy rooted in character and plot. Goldsmith pokes fun at the aristocracy, the French, formal courtship, the fashions of the time, the follies of youth and the fopperies of old age."
Performances begin Thursday, Jan. 31, and continue through Sunday, Feb. 10. Curtain is 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 7 p.m. on Sundays, with one matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9. The Babcock Theatre is downstairs in the Pioneer Memorial Theatre building, 300 South and University streets on the University of Utah campus. For further information or reservations, call 581-6961.
- After the opening night performance there will be a cermony at Babcock Theatre to unveil a portrait of David Jones. Jones, who died two years ago, was a popular professor. The portrait is by his wife, artist Kay Knight Jones.
- VERONICA'S ROOM, an intriguing mystery with psychological overtones, will be presented Thursday, Jan. 31, through Sunday, Feb. 3, as part of the Pioneer Theatre Company's Intern Showcase program in the Lab Theatre of the University of Utah's Performing Arts Building.
Richard Mathews, who directs the intern program for PTC, is also directing the play. The cast members, all PTC acting interns, are Holly Claspill, Tom Jacobsen, Andee Mason and David Wisshack. They've previously performed in such shows as "Dracula," "The Miser" and "A Penny for a Song" on the Lees Main Stage.
"Veronica's Room," written by Ira Levin, tells about Susan and Larry, a Boston college student and a young attorney she's recently met, who have been enticed to the Brabissant mansion by the Mackeys, an elderly Irish couple who are struck by Susan's strong resemblance to Veronica Bra-bissant, the long-dead daughter of the family for whom the Mackeys work.
The Mackeys induce Susan to impersonate Veronica for a while in order to solace the only living Brabis-sant, her addled sister living in the past and believing that Veronica is really alive and angry with her.
Evening performances will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1-2, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m., with a matinee on Friday at 5 p.m. Tickets are available at the Pioneer Memorial Theatre box office (581-6961). The Performing Arts Building is adjacent to the campus book store.
- THE SEAGULL, Anton Chekhov's classic of unrequited love, will be presented on the Margetts Arena Theatre stage at Brigham Young University for 14 performances, Thursday, Jan. 31, through Saturday, Feb. 16.
BYU language professor Thomas Rogers has translated Chekhov for the BYU stage. He says his purpose was to create an understandable script without taking liberties with Chekhov's work.
"The Seagull" follows a circular theme. One character loves another character who loves another character. "What you see clearly," says Rogers, "is an unwillingness or inability of people to communicate with one another. Everyone is off on his or her own reveries, not listening to anyone and not being aware that no one is listening to them, either."
Faculty director Barta Heiner sees a relevance in "The Seagull" for today's audience. "Chekhov shows the effects of choices, such as the effect parental irresponsibility has on children or how certain choices can destroy lives. He also establishes that allowing things to happen rather than making a choice can affect life as dramatically as making the wrong choice."
In the leads of Treplev and Nina are two students, Roger Benington and Veronique Enos, who are using "The Seagull" as their senior project, a culminating requirement for a degree in acting. Also performing major roles will be Sam Wood as Trigorin, Keleen Johnson as Arkadina, Reese Purser as Sorin, Kevin Gardner as Shamraev, Celia Patten as Polina, Katherine Willis as Masha, Brad Slocum as Dorn and Timothy Robinson as Medvednko. Set and lighting design is by Michael G. Handley, and Loraine Edwards is in charge of costumes.
Performances of "The Sea Gull" will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, beginning Jan. 31, with a 4 p.m. matinee Feb. 11. Tickets, available through the drama ticket office, 378-7447, are $6.50 for the public, $5.75 for senior citizens and $5 for students and children.
- LERNER AND LOEWE IN CONCERT, featuring beloved tunes from such all-time favorite shows as "My Fair Lady," "Brigadoon" and "Camelot," will be presented for 14 performances on City Rep's Court Stage (main floor) in the Utah Theatre, 148 S. Main, Feb. 2 through March 22.
Directed by Joanne M. Parker, the cast will include Bruce Bredeson and James A. Dale, who both appeared most recently in two other City Rep theatrical concerts, "That Old Gumbie Cat" and "The Break-a-Leg Revue."
Alan Jay Lerner, lyricist/librettist, and Frederick Loewe, composer, collaborated on seven Broadway and movie scores, including "Gigi" and "Paint Your Wagon," in addition to the three other shows mentioned above.
The City Rep concert production will include such songs as "I Could Have Danced All Night," "Almost Like Being in Love" and "If Ever I Would Leave You."
Playdates are on a variety of Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays during the seven-week run. Specific dates for evening performances (7:30 p.m.) are Feb. 2, 4, 8, 16 and 22, and March 2, 4, 8, 16, 18 and 22, with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on Feb. 9, 23 and March 9.
Tickets are $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for children 16 and under. For reservations, contact the box office at 532-6000. The theater is located at 148 S. Main.
- HARVEY, Mary Chase's classic comedy about Elwood P. Dowd and his imaginary, 6-foot-plus white rabbit, will open a five-week run on Friday, Feb. 1, at the StageStop Theatre at Hampton's Ford in Collinston, between Logan and Tremonton.
Artistic director Soni Barrus will direct the play.
The role of Elwood P. Dowd will be played by Dee Pace, well-known northern Utah actor/director, who recently starred in "Barnum" at the Heritage Theatre in Perry.
Others in the cast include Peggy Sherlock, Cherilee Caldwell, Tracy Johnson, Janet Carter, Brad Noble, Stephanie Blake, Barry Carter and Scott Pella.
"Harvey" will play Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2, at 8 p.m., after which it will continue on Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. through March 9, with a Saturday matinee at 3:30 p.m. March 2. All seats are $5 at all performances, except on Mondays, when senior citizens and students are admitted for $4, and there is a special $20 "immediate family" rate. Reservations are required. To contact the box office, call 257-7330.