The Salt Lake Repertory Theatre is celebrating its move to the Utah Theater, 148 S. Main, with an inaugural performance of "City Lights" at 7:30 p.m. April 21.
"We're thrilled to have a home a place where we can house the stages, the costume and prop areas, the offices and the shop all in one location," said Joanne M. Parker, artistic director. "We've looked into the small nooks and crannies of this grand old building for some inspiration and imagination for this performance, and I'm sure we've found it."Nicknamed the City Rep, the repertory theatre will be performing selections from "Cats," "Les Miserables," "Phantom of the Opera," "A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine," and other City Rep favorites that have become part of the company's repertoire during the past two years.
Many performers from "Cats in Concert," City Rep's first production, will be performing on the 21st. "City Lights," directed by Parker with choreography by Marilyn Montgomery, plays to the ensemble's wide range of talents, featuring everything from full production tap numbers to individual solos. Music is under the direction of Richard Chatelain.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception will preface the premier performance. All performers, orchestra and production staff members are donating their services for three benefit performances. Proceeds will benefit the Theatre and Sustaining Fund. City Rep's regular season will resume in May.
Tickets for the performance and reception April 21 are $62.50 each or $125 per couple, which includes a tax-deductible donation and membership as a City Rep sustaining patron. Tickets for performances on April 22 and 23 are $8, $10 and $12. The theater box office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
Parker said City Rep is pursuing plans to house a children's theater school to help children develop their talents, especially those who plan to pursue work in theater.
James F. McCrea, a retired restoration architect for the LDS Church, has accepted a two-year assignment from the City Rep board of directors to serve as the historic architectural consultant in refurbishing the Utah Theatre facility. McCrea was responsible for the restoration of the Assembly Hall and Tabernacle on Temple Square, the Manti Temple and several other historic buildings in Salt Lake City.
"I'm excited about the prospects of refurbishing this facility," McCrea said. "In a city where many of the downtown historic buildings have been destroyed, it is wonderful to see one that is being saved and even being used for the purpose it was originally intended."
Much of the restoration work is being done by volunteers. Season ticket holders, theater buffs, youth groups and others have spent hours cleaning and polishing to get the theater ready for its reopening.
There won't be popcorn at the premier, but custard cups, ice cream treats and chocolates that were regular intermission treats long ago in London's west end will be served.