Two one-act plays, a Tony Award-winning musical and a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta are among productions opening this week.
- "THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD," a bawdy musical reminiscent of those presented in English music halls during the late 1800s, will open Friday in the Egyptian Theater in Park City, where it will continue Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. through March 25.Director Ed Britt explained that "Drood" is a "play-within-a-play." Actors in the music halls of the period often offered their wares to audience members before a performance. In PCP's production, the music hall cast mingles with the audience from 7:30 p.m. until the curtain goes up.
At 8 p.m., the music hall "chairman" will bring down his gavel and the actors will start the show from wherever they are in the house. The cast is performing a play adapted from the unfinished novel being written by Charles Dickens at the time of his death.
Dickens was writing a mystery, but died before revealing the murderer's identity. Audience members get to vote on who they believe the murderer is, and that vote will determine how the play ends.
Britt said there are seven possible endings to the production.
"The Mystery of Edwin Drood" played on Broadway for two years and was the winner of several 1987 Tony awards, including best musical, best book, best score and best orchestration.
The cast for the PCP production includes Michael Allman, Larry Berg, Florence Healy-French, Lachlen French, Michael Johnson, Stephen Kerrl, James LaRocco, Carla Lofthouse, Mary Alice Melloyl, Joe Mills, Carol Moon, Pablo Pollard, Linda Ponder, Michelle Sacco, Bruce Solomon and Layla Solomon.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for students/senior citizens, and $6 for children 12 years of age and under. Tickets are available at all SmithTix outlets along the Wasatch Front, the Park City Adventure Center, the Kimball Art Center and at the Egyptian Theatre box office.
For reservations, call 649-9371 after noon or 649-1217.
- THE WESTMINSTER PLAYERS will present two one-act plays Wednesday through Saturday in Walker Hall, located on the southeast corner of the Westminster College campus, 1840 S. 1300 East.
Lanford Wilson's "The Great Nebula in Orion," being directed by Robert Ingram Jr., will be performed at 8 p.m. with Esther Nelson and Jenni Richerson, and Edward Albee's "The Zoo Story," directed by Gail McCulloch with Michael Tielborg and Lance Bocquin, will be presented at 9:15 p.m.
Admission to both performances is free of charge.
- "PIRATES OF PENZANCE," will be presented Feb. 14-18 and 20 at 8 p.m. nightly in the Dixie College Fine Arts Theatre, St. George.
Dixie's theater-music departments have been producing musical theater for more than 75 years, but it has been almost half a century since J. W. McAllister directed a Dixie College production of a Gilbert & Sullivan light opera (notably "The Gondoliers" in 1940 and "The Mikado" in 1924).
As far as can be determined, this week's production of "Pirates of Penzance" marks the premiere of the Gilbert & Sullivan work in the Dixie area.
Dr. C. Paul Andersen, who is directing this production, is taking an approach similar to that taken by Wilford Leach in the 1981 version that played at the Uris Theater on Broadway - straightforward American pronunciation and the creation of likeable, genuine people.
Tickets are available at the Dixie Fine Arts Center box office.