Seven productions, ranging from a classic operetta to an off-the-wall comedy to a dinner-theater revue, are opening this week on Utah stages, with two earlier Wasatch Front productions resuming or being extended.
- "THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE," one of Gilbert & Sullivan's most popular operettas, is being directed by Glen L. Slight.The Salt Lake Community Arts Center production opens Friday, Feb. 8, in the Little Theater of the Calvin L. Rampton Technology Building on the campus of Salt Lake Community College, 4600 S. Redwood Rd.
It will continue Mondays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. through Feb. 23, with a matinee on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m.
Slight's cast includes Roger Summerhays as Frederick, Carol Nelson as Mabel, S. Frank Stringham as the Pirate King, Harlin Jones as the Major General and Darla Davis as Ruth.
Summerhays has appeared as soloist with Utah Opera, Salt Lake Opera Theatre, Pro Musica and the Utah Oratorio Society. Nelson was first-place winner in the 1990 state Metropolitan Opera contest. Stringham has appeared in "Married With Children" and several ABC and HBO productions as well as stage productions throughout Los Angeles prior to his recent move to Utah.
Jones has some 40 years of experience as a character actor and stage director, including work at the Mark Taper Forum, and Davis has performed at Lagoon Opera House, Southern Utah State College and at the Broadway Stage.
Alan LaFleur is choreographer for the show, with scenery by Clif A. Davis and costumes by Diane Allen.
For reservations, call 967-4241. Discounts are available for students and senior citizens. Seating in the Little Theater is limited, and advance reservations are suggested.
- A FREE READING of Stephen Metcalfe's "Strange Snow" will be presented Monday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at Salt Lake Acting Company, 168 W. 500 North, with Toni Lynn Byrd directing a cast made up of Don Glover, Michelle Peterson and Richard Scott.
Metcalfe's "White Man Dancing" is currently being staged Wednesdays through Sundays at SLAC.
"Strange Snow," which explores the relationship of two Vietnam veterans as they put their lives back together following the war, was the basis (in an expanded version) for the 1989 Robert De Niro/Ed Harris film, "Jacknife."
The reading is part of SLAC's 1990-91 Free Reading Series.
Also scheduled this year are Julie Jensen's "Stray Dogs," on April 1 (coinciding with a production of Jensen's "White Money" March 13-April 14); David Kranes' "White Sands, New Mexico" on April 8, and Aden Ross' newly commissioned work, "K-mille," on April 15.
SLAC is also taking its free reading series on the road this year with three presentations on selected Sunday afternoons in the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art on the Utah State University campus in Logan. These plays and dates will be "Strange Snow" on March 10, "K-mille" on April 14, and a third play to be announced on May 5. The readings in Logan are made possible by a grant from the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation.
- "JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT," the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical version of the Biblical tale about young Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt, will be presented for the first time in Cache Valley during the next two weeks in the Morgan Theatre of the Chase Fine Arts Center on the Utah State University campus.
Director Gary Bird, who is giving the "soft-rock opera" a 1990s "techno pop" feel, has directed two previous productions of the popular show - five years ago for the Utah Musical Theatre series in Ogden and then at an Equity theater in Illinois.
"We have a strong cast," Bird says, noting that more than 60 performers auditioned for the 22-member cast. "The piece is entirely sung, so I was looking for strong singers/dancers and I had a nice selection."
The cast includes former USU student Brad Whitaker ("Pirates of Penzance" and "A Little Night Music") as the Pharaoh. After graduating from USU, Whitaker moved to New York where he acts and directs for the Manhattan Stage Ensemble.
John Mauldin, a vocal performance major, plays Joseph, with Linda Mugleston and Randi Harrington as the two narrators.
Scenery designer Daniel Guyette is basing his setting for the show - fabric curtains and drapes coming down from the rafters and bleeding into the sandy look of the dunes - on Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's design for the opera, "Le Coq d'Or."
"Joseph" will play Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 7-9 and 14-16, at 8 p.m. Admission is $6.50 for adults, $5.50 for senior citizens, youths and USU faculty/staff, and $3.25 for USU students with valid activity cards.
Season subscribers unable to exchange ticket coupons for the recent sold-out performances of "Dandelion Wine" may attend "Joseph" as a substitute. Children under 5 years of age are not admitted.
- "WHAT THE BUTLER SAW," a broadly comic slapstick farce by Joe Orton, a playwright with "a devilishly impish sense of satire," will be presented this week at Weber State University.
Director Ronald V. Ladwig's cast includes Holly Fowers as Geraldine; Leslie Warwood as Dr. Prentice, a sleazy psychiatrist; Jennifer Carver as Mrs. Prentice; Russell Peterson as Nicholas; Brian Bon as Dr. Rance; and Neils Adair as a policeman.
"What the Butler Saw" is a farce integrated with Oscar Wilde-style elegance and grace.
"The ridiculousness of the characters, in even more ridiculous situations, holds a mirror up to all of our foibles and the seriousness with which we take ourselves," said Ladwig.
The show runs Tuesday through Saturday, Feb. 5-9, at 7:30 p.m. in the
Allred Theatre of the Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts at Weber State University. General admis sion seating is $2 for adults and $1 for students and senior citizens. The play is recommended for adult audiences. Tickets are available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dee Events Center box office or one your prior to performance at the Browning Center ticket office. For information, call 626-8500.
- "COMPLETELY GERSHWIN," a tune-packed musical revue featuring the talents of six well-known Salt Lake-area performers and celebrating the music of the Gershwin brothers, will be presented on Monday evenings in the Green Street Social Club banquet room at 610 Trolley Square.
Pianist/musical director Brent Fotheringham will be joined by Mark Chambers (who directed the show), Teri Cowan, Jayceen Craven, Joe Pitti and Calvin Johnson for an evening of such favorites as "I Got Rhythm," "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Our Love Is Here to Stay."
Fotheringham will entertain at the piano during dinner from 6 to 7 p.m. and the revue begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for the show, or $13 for a dinner/show package. Green Street is a private club.
- "THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES," Moliere's 1662 classic comedy, utilizing an English verse translation by Richard Wilbur, is being directed by Fred C. Adams for the Southern Utah University theater department.
His cast includes Michael Ross Clements, Danni Wheeler, Lyam White, Anthony Backman, Cheryl Lenzer, Robert Boque, Dax Kiger, Willy Saxton, Earle B. Severance, Robbie Berry, Adrianne Jenson, Susan Q. Anderson, Jason Evans, Joseph Stewart, Robert I. Richardson and Kwin Peterson.
"The School for Wives" was first presented in Paris as a sequel to Moliere's "The School for Husbands," and the sequel proved to be much more successful - and controversial - than the earlier play. It was accused of being immoral because it condoned revolt against one's legal guardian.
The play will be presented Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. in SUU's Auditorium Stage II Theatre. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children and senior citizens and $2 for SUU students with valid I.D. For tickets, contact the SUU theater department box office at 586-7878.
- "NUNSENSE," an off-the-wall musical comedy that has become something of a contemporary theater classic, is being staged Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 7-9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Geary Theatre, College of Eastern Utah, Price.
Lee Johnson is directing Dan Goggin's script about the unCONVENTional goings-on at the Order of the Little Sisters of Hoboken.
The show has had long and successful runs in New York, Chicago, Boston and throughout the regional theater circuit.
- "A DAY, A NIGHT AND A DAY," has been extended through April at the Vine Street Theater, 163 Vine St., Murray, with a number of cast changes since the premiere performance last October and with Michael Clapier directing the new cast.
The original sound system has also been modified and other revisions have been made in the production and the staging. The show features a musical score by William Marsden, with script and lyrics by Doug Stewart.
It is being presented on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 8 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children. Group discounts and a special "family night" pass on Monday nights are also available. For reservations or further information, call the theater at 269-8080 or Clapier at 278-1016.
- OPERA WEST'S PRODUCTION of "Company," Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning musical comedy about love and marriage, will resume on Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 8-9 and 15-16 in the BYU Wilkinson Center Memorial Lounge.
All performances, being co-sponsored by BYU Student Leadership Development, are at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $8 per person, including a dessert buffet following the shows. Seating is limited, and advance reservations are suggested. For tickets, contact the BYU music ticket office at 378-7444.