It's another "more plays than there are days in the week" kind of periods, with at least 10 new stage productions being mounted around and beyond the Wasatch Front.
They include the openings of two brand new theater companies (see separate story in this section today on Page E8), a variety of musicals, comedies and dramas, and the area's second "murder weekend" experience in as many weeks.Here's a brief look at what you can find out there:
- MEDEA, loosely adapted by Robinson Jeffers from the Euripides classic, this is a contemporary version of the story of the ambitious Jason who forsakes Medea, his foreign wife, and takes a new bride for political advancement by marrying the daughter of King Creon, ruler of Corinth.
Jeffers made the play more enjoyable and understanding for modern audiences by editing out most of the Greek chorus speeches and many of the gods and dispensing with the formalities.
Director Stephanie Freeman's cast for the University of Utah Lab Theatre production includes Milea Leding as Medea, Steven Dallimore as Jason, Beau Burbidge, Doug Cook, Burgan Hobbs, Ira Macner, Stephanie Mizki, Iman Nazeeri and Angela Simon.
Performances are Thursday-Saturday, April 11-13, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 14, at 7 p.m., with a matinee on Friday, April 12, at 5 p.m. Tickets: Pioneer Memorial Theatre box office. The Lab Theatre is in the Performing Arts Building adjacent to the University of Utah campus book store. For reservations, call 581-6961.
- DARK OF THE MOON, a Salt Lake Community Theatre production, will be presented one night this week (Friday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the Whitmore Library, 2197 E. 7000 South), before moving to the company's usual residence at Bryant Intermediate School for four additional performances the following week.
Directed by Bob and Dorothy Antrim, it's an eerie fantasy loosely adapted from Barbara Allen's famous ballad.
Admission is free of charge.
- CELEBRATION TOAST, is a "murder weekend" dinner-theater presentation on Friday evening in the Fork Lift restaurant of Snowbird Resort's Cliff Lodge. Officially, the evening is sold out, so this is mostly a reminder for those who have reserved seats to be their promptly at 7 p.m.
(You never can tell how many important clues you might miss out on if you show up late.)
Hans Petersen and Trina Eyring of KALL Radio will be special guests at the dinner. Will Hans be the victim? Will Trina fall prey to some devious deed?
Lee Hunt, author/producer of the participatory mystery, notes that most of his 13 cast members have performed on such local stages as the Hale Center Theater and in the annual Dickens Festival. They include Lanore Cambria, Alan Mangum, William Bisson, Laura Clayton, Vicki Wilson, Nancy and John Elder, Tricia Allen, Gary Armstrong, Jesse Dulce, Steve Allison, Marty Jensen and Mahmood Akhtar.
For further information or possible reservations (in the remote case there are any last-minute cancelations) call 521-6040.
- WHITE SANDS, NEW MEXICO, written by Utah playwright David Kranes, is the second in this season's Free Spring Readings Series at Salt Lake Acting Company.
The gist of the plot: Keith Palmer leaves his well-paid job and heads into the desert for "repair." There he meets an enigmatic, nighttime woman and enters her home, her art, her religion and finds more mystery than he ever counted on.
Directed by Ellen Graham, the cast includes Frank Magner as Keith, Joyce Cohen as Caldera Rio, Valerie Kittel as Luna Bowen and David Jensen as Branch Whitestone. Teresa Sanderson will narrate.
There will be one performance only on Monday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. at SLAC, 168 W. 500 North. Admission is free of charge. The reading will be followed by light refreshments and an opportunity to meet with those involved with the production.
- KISS AND TELL was a smash hit when it first appeared on Broadway in 1943 with a couple of unknown actors in leading roles - first Richard Widmark, then Kirk Douglas as his replacement - and it remains popular today as a staple in community theaters around the world.
The comedy is about 15-year-old Corliss Archer forced to pretend she is pregnant in order to protect her secretly married brother.
Richard Wilkins is directing the show and also has the role of Corliss' exasperated father.
Others in the cast are Tanya Radebaugh, Rosalie Richards, Amber Radebaugh, Brooke Wilkins, Devin Overly, Brinton Wilkins, Brent Jorgensen, Nate Hale, Cori Jacobsen, Judy Cook, Todd Drummond, Douglas Erik Dial, Bob Chambers, Sherry Brian, Vernene Butter, Lori Erickson, Gary Nielson, Roger Barker, Steve Kenworthy, Linda Hale and Cody Hale, many of whom are double-cast on alternate nights.
"Kiss and Tell" will play Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. from April 12 through June 2. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for children, except Monday evenings when all seats are $4. For reservations, call 226-8600.
- THE ODD COUPLE, one of Neil Simon's most popular comedies, will be presented for five performances by the Ogden Area Community Theater company this week.
The company's managing/artistic director, Tony Ritchie, is directing the show and also performs the role of Oscar, the slob, with Kurt Kidman playing Felix, the fastidious half of Simon's mismatched roommates.
Others in the cast are Tom Hutson, Rhys Richards, Doug Giaborg and Terry Guthrie as their poker-playing buddies, and Jolene Zito and Kathleen Lange as the Pigeon sisters, Gwendolyn and Cecily.
Performances are Wednesday-Friday, April 10-12 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 13, at both 1 and 7 p.m. in the Washington High School auditorium, 3279 Washington Blvd., Ogden. Admission is $5 per person ($3 for senior citizens). For reservations, call 773-0816.
OACT has previously performed in Ogden Union Station and at the Hearthside Dinner Theater, as well as a variety of other rented spaces since the early 1970s. Ritchie said the troupe is looking for a permanent home. Other shows planned this year include "Mister Roberts" later in the summer and "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" in the fall.
- THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN, the upbeat musical about the spunky would-be Denver socialite who survives the Titanic disaster, is being presented by the Heritage Theatre Company and is being staged by the Heritage Theatre in Perry on dates that coincide with the actual event 79 years ago.
The musical comedy, written by Meredith Willson, is based on the true-life story of Margaret Tobin Brown, who was aboard the Titanic when it sunk on April 15, 1912. Brown's daughter, Helen, lived long enough to see her mother's story turned into a smash-hit Broadway musical in the early 1960s.
Mac Edwards is directing the Heritage Theatre production. His cast includes Colette Henderson and Steve Valentine as Molly Tobin and "Leadville" Johnny Brown.
Others in the cast are Dale Holmes, Ruth Huff, Estelle Price, Richard Bouwhuis, Robert N. Young and Cara Linda Secrist with an ensemble of 13 other dancers and singers.
Performances will be Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, April 12-May 4, at 8 p.m., with Saturday matinees on April 20 and 27 at 2 p.m. For reservations, call 723-8392.
- WOMAN IN MIND, Alan Ayckbourn's comedy/fantasy covering 48 hours in the life of "the ideal wife and mother of an ideal family."
Directed by theater major Jesse Berger, the Southern Utah University theater department production will play April 11-20 in the Auditorium Stage II Theatre.
His cast includes Holly Bradford as Susan, the play's central character; Michael Stasinos as Bill, her doctor; Michael Bud Metters as her husband, a dull, boring vicar, with Michael Ross Clements and Danni DeLacy Wheeler as Rick and Luch, Susan's son and daughter.
Also in the cast are Morgan J. Anderson as Susan's brother, Tony; Sallie Cooper as her sister-in-law, Muriel, and Brian Vaughn as her "other husband," Andy.
Performances will be Thursdays-Saturdays, April 11-13 and 18-20 at 8 p.m. Due to limited seating in the Stage II space, advance reservations are recommended. Call 586-7878 for tickets or further information.