A variety productions, ranging from an Arthur Miller classic to a staged reading of a drama by a former Utah playwright, with everything from musicals to comedies in between, are opening this week on stages across (and beyond) the Wasatch Front.
They are:- ALL MY SONS, one of Arthur Miller's earlier successes, opening a four-week run at the Broadway Stage, 272 S. Main, with a cast that includes several well-known and experienced performers from Brigham Young University.
Heading the cast as the patriarch of a family (that today would most likely be labeled "dysfunctional") is Ivan Crosland of the BYU theater department faculty, along with Mary Parker Williams, a BYU graduate who has acted in and directed a large number of local productions; Joan Oviatt, who has a master of performing arts degree from BYU, and Kris Johnson, a BFA graduate from the Y.
Also in the cast are Bonnie Durrance-Doyle, last seen in "Eleemosynary" at the Broadway Stage; Robin Murdock, an English/drama teacher who graduated from USU and SUSC; Anthony Leger and Gary Anderson, both from the University of Utah; and Dennis Kostecki, with Rudd Murdock and Aaron Nelson alternating in the role of the 8-year-old neighbor boy. William Sargent is directing.
Following its premiere on Broadway on Jan. 29, 1947, "All My Sons" won the Drama Critics Circle Award as the season's best play. The following year, Miller won both the DCCA and a Pulitzer Prize for his acclaimed "Death of a Salesman."
Sargent had originally intended to present "All My Sons" during his first season but shifted it to his 1990-91 season instead, not suspecting the timeliness of his decision. The drama takes place in the time immediately following World War II - and is being staged during a similarly ebullient postwar period. The drama focuses on a businessman's unsavory ethics during WWII and how his family's knowledge of this situation affects their lives.
It will open on Thursday, April 4, after which it will play on Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. through April 27. For reservations and ticket information, call the theater at 359-1444.
- THE SOUND OF MUSIC, the final musical from the team of Rodgers & Hammerstein, opens a 14-performance run on Friday, April 5, on City Rep's Court Stage of the Utah Theatre, 148 S. Main St.
Directed by Shellie Waters, the cast includes Tamara Howell as Maria von Trapp and James A. Dale as Captain von Trapp.
The von Trapp family children will be played by Emily Timms, Wes Brewer, Rosi Hayes, Jordan Jensen, Emily Larsen, Miranda Chivers and Laura Naylor. Other leading adult roles will be played by Ron Jewett, Sharon Kennison and Joan Mabe, with Byron Simper as Rolf Gruber, the young Nazi who is eldest daughter Liesl's love interest.
Jennifer O'Haley is musical director.
"The Sound of Music" will play on alternating Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays. Evening performances are April 5, 13, 15, 19, 27 and 29, and May 3, 11, 13, 17 and 25 at 7:30 p.m., with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on April 20 and May 4 and 11.
Tickets are $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for children 16 and under. All seats are reserved. Box office: 532-6000.
- BABY, a delightful "mature musical" about the joys and terrors of impending parenthood, had a successful fall run in the Sundance Institute Screening Room. It's being revived for a two-month run on Fridays and Saturdays from April 5 through May 25.
Directed by Jayne Luke, the show features music and lyrics by David Shire and Richard Maltby Jr. The musical comedy looks at parenthood from the perspectives of three couples - two unmarried college students (he wants the baby, she's not sure); a couple in their mid-30s trying desperately to have a child, and a couple whose last child is in college (or IS it their last child?).
Marilee Webb is supervising the musical direction for the show.
All seats are $10 per person, with $1 off for senior citizens (65 or older). For reservations, call Sundance Resort at 225-4100. Dinner reservations can also be made at the same time. For special weekend theater/
dinner/lodging packages, call 225-4107.
- STRAY DOGS, the play that former Utah writer Julie Jensen considers "my very first" (although it was really her sixth or seventh), will be presented as the first of Salt Lake Acting Company's 1991 Free Spring Reading Series.
Three plays will be read on successive Monday nights during April.
"Stray Dogs" is about an outsider coping with life in a small, repressive Utah town.
Jean Roberts is directing the reading, with Rebecca Hunt, Don Glover, Frank Magner, Cade Anderson, Jon Wilde and Garrison Burrell (currently featured in Jensen's "White Money" at SLAC) in the cast.
Other plays scheduled as part of the annual Free Spring Reading series are David Kranes' new play, "White Sands, New Mexico" on April 8, and Aden Ross' latest project, "K-Mille," on April 14. The readings will be followed by light refreshments.
The three readings all begin at 7:30 p.m. and are presented free of charge.
- SLAUGHTER ON THE STRIP is the latest "murder weekend" dinner-theater presentation by Chameleons, the Layton-based "whodunit company."
Written by James Christian of Layton, who is head of the theater faculty at Weber State University, "Slaughter on the Strip" will be presented on Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. at Sherwood Hills Resort near Wellsville (Sardine Canyon), between Logan and Brigham City.
The prime rib buffet will include an evening of participatory sleuthing during which patrons will be faced with coaxing a variety of characters to admit useful clues.
The setting for the mystery is the Las Vegas Strip, peopled by such characters as a lounge lizard, a country-western singer, Russian magicians, a boozy Broadway star, a second-rate comic, a blind pianist, a showgirl and the last remaining member of a team of singing sisters.
Cost of the evening is $19.95 per person. Lodging is also available at Sherwood Hills resort. For theater and lodging reservations, call 245-6424.
- HOPSVILLE HOLIDAY, a song-and-dance comedy by Ruth and Nathan Hale, opens a five-week run on Friday at the StageStop at Hampton's Ford in Collinston.
Soni Barrus is directing the show, assisted by Cherilee Caldwell.
Their cast includes Kendra Karchner, Loni Panhorst and Bryce Call, all recently seen in the Utah State University production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
Also in the cast are Barrus, Samantha Anderson, Marvin Hull, Bevan Turner, Troy Sorensen, Kris Johnson, Barry Carter, Annette Johnson, Marilyn Taylor, Maria Farnsworth, Lori Salturn, Michael Fox, Ryan Williams and Caleb Mathis.
Music for the show was written by Sally Dietlein, with arrangements and adaptations by Val David Smithson. The StageStop production is being choreographed by Jeana Nilson and Susie Palmer.
"Hopsville Holiday" will play Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6, at 8 p.m., then continue on Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. through May 11, with one matinee on Saturday, May 4, at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for all performances, except those on Mondays, when there are senior citizen, student and family discounts available. For reservations call 257-7330. The theater is located at 3585 W. Bigler Road.
- LITTLE WOMEN, based on Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, opened this past weekend at the Valley Center Playhouse in Lindon.
Buddy Youngreen is directing a cast that includes Kristen Townsend, Star Hall, Megan Germane, Kristy Sorensen, Jill Hazlett, Julie Davis, Deborah Ellis, Joana Major, Jeff Rogers and David Wraps.
Performance dates are Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays through May 6 at 7:30 p.m. Reservations: 224-5310.