Hans Petersen's one-man show adapted from Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry's book, "Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States" and a revised version of a new musical fantasy by a Utah playwright based on the classic fairytale, "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" will both have one-night stands on Saturday night prior to being staged in other venues in the coming weeks.
Also opening this week are three plays on Salt Lake college and university campuses (see separate story on Page E8), along with an English/Spanish production of "In the Burning Darkness" at Brigham Young University and the popular musical, "The 1940s Radio Hour" by the Bountiful Community Theatre. - DAVE BARRY SLEPT HERE is KALL Radio personality Hans Petersen's readers' theater adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry's skewed look at U.S. history.
Petersen, who is known for his whimsical imagination, first presented this reader's theater-style show several weeks ago in the auditorium of the Salt Lake Art Center, then did some editing, fine-tuning and revisions on the slide-show graphics that accompany the piece.
Stand-up comedy is nothing new for Petersen, who also has a couple of comedy albums - "The 12 Days of Christmas" and "How It Feels to Be 40" - in release.
(Barry's nationally syndicated column runs on Sundays in the People & Places section of the Deseret News.)
Petersen told the Deseret News during a recent interview that while he and Barry have corresponded by mail, he has never actually talked to Barry, even by telephone (an instrument that both Barry and his agent refer to as the farspeak). Petersen spent a few days in Miami, Barry's stomping grounds, shortly after his first Salt Lake presentation of "Dave Barry Slept Here," but was unable to touch bases with him, either face-to-face or farspeak-to- farspeak.
"But I have a whole collection of very interesting letters from him and maybe someday they'll make a good book," Petersen notes.
Meanwhile, Utahns can see for themselves what Petersen does to Barry's outrageous and bizarre view of U.S. history when he performs "Dave Barry Slept Here" on Saturday, March 23, at 8 p.m. in the Bryant Intermediate School auditorium. Admission is $10 each, with tickets available in advance from Smith'sTix outlets or at the door prior to the performance.
Additional performances are scheduled within the next few weeks in Ogden and Provo.
- THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES is Utah playwright Dorothy Keddington's adaptation of the beloved Grimm fairy tale about the frustrated king of the Kingdom of Gavotte, whose shoe bill is out of sight. The king seeks the help of neighboring princes to solve the shoe-bill mystery with the reward being the princess of their choice and half of his kingdom.
First presented last summer as Sandy City's annual outdoor musical production, this new version has been slightly revised and some new music has been added.
Keddington's daughters, Laura Bedore and Stephanie Clark, assisted with the writing of the script and her sister, Kathleen Skidmore, wrote all of the music. The show drew positive responses from sell-out crowds during last summer's performances.
With a new cast, directed by Bob Bedore (who local theater fans will recognize from his many Hale Center Theater performances), "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" will be staged for a one-night-only gala at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday, March 23. Admission for this performance is set at $6, $8 and $10, with tickets available at all Smith'sTix outlets and the Salt Palace box office.
Additional performances are scheduled during April at four Davis County high schools. Proceeds from all performances are earmarked for the Davis County School Foundation.
The cast includes Debbie Winegar as Princess January, Jonathan Stowers as the Soldier, Merril Dodge as the King, Gerry Graves as the Shoemaker, Amy Westerby as Princess December, Nathan Smedley as the Page and Mary Ellen Thompson as Gwendolyn.
Assisting Bedore are his wife, Laura, as costume and set designer, Kathleen Skidmore as musical director and Dorothy O'Brien as choreographer.
Bedore said one new song, "True to Love," has been written for the revised production. It's a takeoff on the Jeanette MacDonald style of musical numbers from many years ago.
- THE 1940s RADIO HOUR, a nostalgic musical comedy with a big band beat, will be presented on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, March 22-25 and March 29 through April 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the city commission chambers of the Bountiful City Hall, 790 S. 100 East.
The Bountiful Community Theatre production, directed by Jim Christian, takes place on Dec. 21, 1942. The audience for the play, in effect, becomes the studio audience for a live broadcast of "The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade" from station WOV in New York City.
Lynn Noe, most recently seen in the first cast of "A Day, A Night and A Day" at Vine Street Theatre, plays the high-strung station manager, with Leslie Warwood as his harried stage manager and choreographer.
Others in the cast are Bill Ball, David Len Allen, Angela Cole, Bret Wheadon, Jerry Christian, Gary Neilson, Dabbie Castlemain, Taylor Anderson and Christian as, respectively: a cantankerous doorman, the radio show's musical director, a pair of squeaky-clean youngsters, the typical "girl back home," a comedian/cab driver, a ditzy bombshell, a drugstore delivery boy (and aspiring performer) and a crooner with an eye on Hollywood.
As the radio show unfolds, the audience is treated to one big-band number after another.
Christian, who directs the musical theater program at Weber State University and is also artistic/managing director of the Utah Musical Theatre series, is directing and choreographing "The 1940s Radio Hour," with Dennis Ferrin, Layton High School drama director, in charge of scenery and lighting, and David Len Allen, band/orchestra director at West High School, as musical director.
Admission is $3 and $5, with tickets available at Carr's Stationery, 185 S. Main St., Bountiful, or at the door prior to performance.
The city commission chambers is an intimate, 150-seat auditorium on the main floor of the Bountiful City Hall. Due to limited seating, advance reservations are suggested.
- IN THE BURNING DARKNESS, Antonio Buero Vallejo's well-known Spanish tragedy, will be staged by Brigham Young University in both English and Spanish in the Harris Fine Arts Center during March and April.
Performances in English will begin Thursday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Margetts Experimental Theatre and will continue Tuesdays through Saturdays through April 5 with a 4 p.m. matinee April 1 and an 8:30 p.m. show April 6.
Spanish performances will be April 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. and April 13 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., also on the Margetts stage. Tickets for both shows are available through the drama ticket office, 378-7447.
The play is presented by BYU through joint cooperation of the Spanish and Theatre and Film Departments, with George Nelson of the theater faculty directing the English version and Kay Moon of the Spanish faculty directing in Spanish.
Nelson is using Peter Ashworth's translation of the Spanish playwright's work to weave a modern-day parable of prophets and what subsequently happens to people who ignore a prophet's words.