A musical revue, a Gilbert & Sullivan classic, a romantic drama and a gentle comedy are among the productions opening this week along the Wasatch Front.
- "ENCORE! ENCORE!" is a tune-filled musical revue showcasing highlights from many of the dozens of musicals produced since 1991 at Salt Lake Community College's Grand Theatre.Featured performers include Pat Davis, who is retiring as the theater's executive director. (The show's orchestra will be conducted by her newly appointed replacement, Kenneth W. Plain.)
The collection of numbers will include a segment with dueling Annies - Annie Oakley (Jayne Luke from "Annie Get Your Gun") and Little Orphan Annie (Katie Fidel from "Annie") duking it out musically in Irving Berlin's "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better."
Davis, Luke and Camille Van Wagoner will sing "Little Girls," also from "Annie," with Julie Blatter and Jim Dale performing "What Do the Simple Folk Do?" from "Camelot," Glen Slight and Josh Christensen's duet from "Phantom" and Fidel's rendition of "Tomorrow."
The various tunes will be introduced through the show's own "Ushers' Rap."
"Encore! Encore!" ends the Grand Theatre's 1997-98 season. It's being mounted as a musical tribute to Davis' work at the theater, from the time productions were first staged in a makeshift space at SLCC's Redwood Road campus through its growth in the former South High School auditorium, which is now the college's South City Campus.
The production has been directed and choreographed by Alan LaFleur, with scenery by J. Chad Davis.
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, May 29-June 13, with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. All seats are reserved. Tickets range from $6 to $13. For reservations, call 957-3322.
- "THE FOREIGNER," the late Larry Shue's comedy about a shy Scotsman's attempts to avoid his fellow guests at a Southern hunting lodge by pretending not to speak English, will run May 27-June 13 in the Pardoe Drama Theatre of Brigham Young University's Harris Fine Arts Center.
Directed by BYU emeritus faculty member Charles Metten, the play focuses on quiet, almost personality-less Charlie, who convinces the lodge's other guests that he cannot understand them - then becomes privy to all their secrets.
The cast includes Roger Nelson, Marc E. Shaw, Martha Henstrom, Brad Montgomery, Katie Foster, Cameron Deaver and Aaron Johnston.
Half-price preview performances are scheduled for May 27 and 28, after which the comedy will continue Tuesdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through June 13. There will be one matinee at 2 p.m. on June 6. Tickets for the regular performances are $9 for the general public and $7 for students and faculty. For reservations, call 378-4322.
- "THE RAINMAKER," N. Richard Nash's 1954 hit Broadway romantic comedy (not to be confused with John Grisham's novel/ movie), will play May 29-July 6 at the Hale Center Theater, 225 W. 400 North, Orem.
Directed by Maureen Eastwood, the mostly double-cast ensemble includes DeLayna Anderson and Kim Stone Wares alternating as Midwestern spinster Lizzy, and Gordy Villarini and Benjamin Berneche as the charismatic Starbuck. (These roles were played by Katherine Hepburn and Burt Lancaster in the 1956 movie version.)
Others in the cast include Gordon Johnson, Tom Lameroux, Larsen Holyoak, Jeremy Anderson, LaMar Neilsen, Lyn Vickery, Paul Hill and Matt Kohl.
Performances will be Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with one matinee at 3 p.m. on June 27. Also, beginning June 20, evening performances will be nightly except Sundays.
Tickets range from $6 to $9. For reservations, call 226-8600.
- "HMS PINAFORE," one of Gilbert and Sullivan's classic operettas, will be presented May 28-June 20 by the Provo-based Utah Lyric Opera Society for 15 performances at the Villa Playhouse, 254 S. Main, Springville.
Directed by Howard Ruff, the cast includes Davison Cheney, Clay Elder, Linda Jacobs, Dee Harris, David Sovine and Julie Israelsen. Barbara Allen is musical director.
Curtain is 7 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays, with one matinee at 2 p.m. on June 20. Admission is $7 per person. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Best of Music in Provo or the Villa Theatre box office or by calling 849-3088.
- A TWIST ON SHAKESPEARE - Highland High School's production of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," featuring Jake Deines and Jasmin Elizabeth Charles in the title roles, will have an unusual twist.
The cast has rehearsed three different endings - all of which, at one time or another, have been utilized on the professional London stage.
The three options are:
- Shakespeare's original tragic ending.
- David Garrick's 18th century adaptation.
- A Victoriam melodrama in the 19th century.
Following the show's second intermission, a decision will be made back stage on which of the three endings to perform. This unusual concept is intended to strengthen the "illusion of the first time" that is often difficult to achieve with young actors.
According to the director, it will also illustrate that Shakespeare's plays, down through the centuries, have often been adapted to suit the style of individual time periods, just as they are today.
Performances will be 7 p.m. on May 27, 29 and 30 and June 1, and 3:30 p.m. on May 28. Tickets ($4 for adults and $3 for students) will be available at the door.