If you've survived the past week (you did attend all 10 plays and musicals that were opening, didn't you? Neither did I), things are only slightly less hectic this week with eight productions on the docket.
They range from the sprightly "April Ann" at the Hale Center Theater in Salt Lake to the dramatic "Hedda Gabler" in the Babcock Theatre and "The Glass Menagerie" by Park City Performances and others in between.Here are the details:
- "HEDDA GABLER," one of Henrik Ibsen's masterpieces, opens Thursday, April 18, in the Babcock Theatre of the Pioneer Memorial Theatre Building at the University of Utah.
Director Tom Markus is developing a unique "postmodern" version of the complex piece, using a translation by Rolf Fjelde.
Susan Floyd (acclaimed last season as St. Joan) portrays Hedda, a woman on a perverse quest for a sense of personal identity. She manipulates her husband, her lover and her friends in a desperate attempt to achieve a sense of personal freedom.
The cast also includes Kristen Bennett, Holly R. Healy, Rene Hemrick, Tom Jacobsen, Mark Larson, Trevor Olsen and Nicole Six.
Also, a symposium entitled "Feminism, Ibsen and the Postmodern" will be presented on Saturday, April 27, following the matinee, hosted by Oliver Gerland, dramaturg for "Hedda" and a theater department professor. Guest speakers for the discussion, which will be free and open to the public, are Mary Francey and Elree Harris.
Performances are Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m., plus a matinee on Saturday, April 27, at 2 p.m. For reservations, call the PMT box office at 581-6961. Student and group rates are available.
- "APRIL ANN" is a Hale Center Theater "back-by-popular-demand" show. It was written by Ruth and Nathan Hale, with original music by Jonathan Troy, Dick Tretter and Gordon Goodman.
Mark Dietlein is directing this latest version of the musical comedy about a backwoods family living high the mountain wilderness.
All roles are double-cast, with Stephanie Coleman and Marydee Potter in the title role, Ruth Hale and Mary De LeMare as Grandma, N. Kurk Holshue and Brad Lee Graff as Larry, Brad Hagen and Mark Dietlein as Yancy, and Nathan Hale and Leo Ware as Grandpa.
Others in the cast are MeriLynne Babcock, Jennifer Wainwright, Matt Cropper, Casey Allman, Quinn Dietlein, Kirsten Kenison, Tessie Rodriguez and Jana Ruth Dietlein.
Playdates are Mondays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., April 18-June 10, with Saturday matinees at 3:30 p.m. on May 4, 11 and 18 and June 1 and both noon and 3:30 p.m. on June 8. Reservations are required. Call 484-9257 or visit the box office at 2801 S. Main.
- "K-MILLE," by Utah playwright Aden Ross, will be presented on Monday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. as the final play in Salt Lake Acting Company's Free Spring Reading series.
"K-Mille" is an interpretive portrait of the French sculptor recently brought to public attention by the French film, "Camille Claudel."
Ross notes that Camille "was most famous as the mistress of Auguste Rodin and the sister of playwright Paul Claudel. That makes me angry. The film ended with her incarceration in a lunatic asylum because `nothing interesting ever happens in a madhouse.' I totally disagree. Her passionate sculpture was written off by her family. I intend to change that."
Larry West of Weber State University's theater department is directing the reading and also performing the role of Rodin. Others in the cast are Ann Decker and Barbara Smith Kerber as the older and younger Camille, Sam Stewart as Paul Claudel, Richard Nelson as an asylum guard, Deborah Threedy as Rose Beuret, Tony Larimer as Papa, Marie Larimer as Louise Claudel, and Vicki Pugmire as the narrator.
Refreshments will be served following the reading. Salt Lake Acting Company is located at 168 W. 500 North. The public is invited and admission is free of charge.
"K-Mille" will also be read on Sunday, April 14, at 2 p.m. at the Nora Eccles Harrison Art Museum on campus of Utah State University in Logan.
- "A THURBER'S CARNIVAL" will be presented free of charge Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. by the Westminster Players in the Jay W. Lees Courage Theatre of Westminster College's new Jewett Center for the Performing Arts, 1700 S. 1250 East
David Dean is guest director for the play, assisted by Robyn Tracy. The cast includes Shawn Colvin, Kareem Ferguson, Matt Kellogg, Phil Lindhardt, Portia Lynne, Jenni Richerson, Michelle Rosinski, Tamara Schneiter and LuAnn Smith.
J. W. Lees, professor emeritus of theater at Westminster, will be honored on opening night.
"A Thurber's Carnival," which opened on Broadway in 1960 and received a Tony Award for distinguished writing, consists of a series of comic sketches drawn and adapted from James Thurber's collection of short stories and cartoons.
- "DARK OF THE MOON," an eerie fantasy set in the Great Smokey Mountains, was adapted by Howard Richardson and William Berney from Barbara Allen's famous ballad. The award-winning play will be presented by Salt Lake Community Theatre at the Bryant Intermediate School auditorium, 40 S. Eighth East (between First South and South Temple).
Co-director Robert and Dorothy Antrim's cast includes Sally DeWeese, Geoffrey Douglas, Celia Duncan, Kathi Jo Fackrell, Michael A. Greene, Keith Hansen, Clenice Hunt, Lonnie Hunter, Betty Lloyd, Deborah Lynn Martin, John Charles Martin, Jana McGettigan, Jerel Nebeker, Jolyn Nebeker, Cindy Lynn Retzlaff, Drew Roots, Barbara Sue Silver, Steve Sleater, Linda Diane Smith, Sean M. Thomas, Edward Lee Vincent and Jeffrey Western.
Free performances Wednesday-Saturday, April 17-20, at 8 p.m.
- "THE GLASS MENAGERIE," Park City Performances' production of Tennessee Williams's acclaimed "memory play," opens a monthlong run this week at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City.
The loosely autobiographical drama is set in a shabby St. Louis tenement during the 1930s. It explores the lives of three disparate characters: Amanda, a faded Southern belle clinging to the memories of a timeworn past; Laura, her painfully shy and crippled daughter, and Tom, the rebellious son anxious to escape from his boring job and burdensome family.
University of Utah MFA candidate Robin Wilks is directing the PCP production. Her cast includes Joan Mullaney, Jeffrey Owens, Christy Summerhays and Matt Mullaney.
The play opens Friday, April 19, and continues on Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. through May 18 in the historic Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St. For reservations, call 649-9371.
- THE SOUTH DAVIS MUTUAL FOR THE HANDICAPPED, involves youngsters from several stakes of the LDS Church throughout the southern Davis County area. Each year, the free production is a heartwarming "must-see" for families in the vicinity.
According to Charlene Summers of Bountiful, this year's production is departing from the traditional musical/play format to showcase the children's talents in a "game show" concept with entertaining commercials and musical numbers for large and small groups.
The production is entitled "Kikelfretz: The Game." Kikelfretz is a noun meaning "To kikel or a state of fretzeling; usually played in a group by people with names like Tip, Flip and Snip."
The free production will be presented Thursday and Friday, April 18 and 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the Woods Cross Regional Center of the LDS Church, 835 N. 400 East, North Salt Lake (the old Valley Music Hall).
- AN EVENING OF THREE ONE-ACT COMEDIES is being presented by Southern Utah University, Cedar City, on Monday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kanab High School auditorium under the auspices of the Kanab Variety Arts Guild series. The plays, all directed by SUU theater department students, are "The Actor's Nightmare," "Out of the Frying Pan" and "Chinamen." Tickets will be available at the door.
- "A DAY, A NIGHT AND A DAY" at the Vine Street Theatre, 184 E. Vine St., Murray, will mark its 75th performance on Saturday, April 20, and the musical drama, based on a Book of Mormon prophecy, has been extended for the fourth time. It will continue on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 8 p.m. through the end of May.
Book and lyrics are by Doug Stewart (coauthor of "Saturday's Warrior") with musical score by William Marsden.
Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children and students. Group discounts are available and there is also a single-price family ticket for Monday evening performances. For reservations, call 269-8080.
- WE NEED TO APOLOGIZE for our failure last week to list the name of the theater where "Kiss and Tell" was playing. It's at the Hale Center Theater in Orem (4th North at Orem Boulevard) and playdates are Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. from now through June 2. Call 226-8600 in the Provo-Orem area for reservations.