Musicals, classics and a couple of productions geared to children are among this week's theater openings.
• ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, adapted by Donald Harron from L.M. Montgomery's classic novel, with music by Norman Campbell, will play Friday through Nov. 10 in the Grand Theatre, located at Salt Lake Community College's South City campus, 1575 S. State.
Directed by Narlene Mathie, with musical direction by Kevin Mathie, the cast includes Elizabeth White as red-haired orphan Anne Shirley and Gordon Jones and Betsy West as Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, an elderly couple who are devastated when the boy they were expecting from an orphanage is ... a girl.
Performances are Friday and Saturday of this week, Thursday-Saturday the second week and Monday-Saturday the third week, all at 7:30 p.m., with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on Nov. 3 and 10. Tickets range from $10-$24 for reserved seating. There are also family passes available for $55 for two adults and up to four children (957-3322 or www.the-grand.org).
• AH, WILDERNESS, by Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill, is the second offering in Utah Valley State College's "American experience" season of stage productions.
A family comedy about middle-class life in "large small-town America," and set on July 4, 1906, the play characterizes what O'Neill's own youth might have been, rather than what he believed it to have been. It's centered around a 17-year-old man's first kiss, first breakup, first drink, first reunion and his first realization that his parents seem to have gotten it right.
John Graham is directing a cast that includes Wesley Tolmann, Sarah Preston, Jeremy Minagro, Laura Garner, Jordan Cummings, Trevor Elzey, Adam Slee, Anne Marie Johnson and Elizabeth Vogeley.
Performances will be 7:30 nightly except Sunday in the Ragan Theatre, 800 W. University Parkway, Orem. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for senior citizens, students and UVSC faculty and staff, and $6 for all UVSC students (863-8797 or the Campus Connection box office).
• THE BIG FRIENDLY GIANT, the stage version of one of British author Raold Dahl's most popular stories, is being staged by the SCERA Center, 745 S. State, Orem, as part of its Theater for Young Audiences series, with public performances from Monday through Nov. 9, along with several weekday matinees especially for school field-trips.
David Whitlock is directing a cast that includes Shawn Mortensen in the title role, Celesta Rimington as Sophie and Laurel Barham, Alex Brown, Josh Patterson, Nik Mikkelsen, Debbie Bowman and Corinne Timmons as a group of bad giants.
Performances for the general public will be Fridays and Mondays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. Reserved seating is $6 for adults and $4 for children, students and senior citizens. Special weekday matinees for school groups will be Mondays-Fridays at 10 a.m., with tickets priced at $2 each for groups of 20 or more. Advance reservations are required (225-2787 or www.scera.org).
• EXPERIMENTS IN INK IX, the University of Utah department of theater's annual showcase of works by new playwrights, all directed, designed and performed by U. students, will run from Thursday through Oct. 28 in Studio 115 of the Performing Arts Building, located just west of the campus book store.
The mix of short plays offers an array of genres, from humor to horror. Some plays contain adult themes and strong language.
Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Oct. 28. Tickets are $9 for adults, $7 for U. faculty and staff and $5 for all students (Kingsbury Hall ticket office, 581-7100 or www.kingtix.com).
In connection with the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA), a free round-table discussion on new play dramaturgy will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday following the matinee. The challenges and rewards of working with new plays will be discussed. Although there is no cost, due to limited seating those attending should RSVP via e-mail to [email protected].
• WAIT UNTIL DARK, a classic mystery about a blind woman being terrorized by a sinister con-man and two ex-convicts, will play from Friday through Nov. 17 at the Heritage Theatre, 2505 S. Highway 89, Perry.
Directed by Ann Reeder, the cast includes Rachel Carling as Suzy, the blind woman; Jared Hoellein as Sam, her husband; Ross Reeder as Harry, Sean Stolper and Bryce Day as the two convicts, and Nicole Kearl and Morgan Meiser alternating in the role of Gloria, a young next-door neighbor.
Performances are Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with one matinee on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for children and senior citizens and $35 for a "family night special" on Monday nights (435-723-8392).
• URINETOWN, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical known for its odd title and quirky humor, is being staged by Utah State Theatre from Thursday through Nov. 3 in the Morgan Theatre of Utah State University's Chase Fine Arts Center, Logan.
Colin Johnson is directing. He notes that it's a tongue-in-cheek dialogue about justice and how it prevails or does not prevail.
Performances are Thursday-Saturday this week and Wednesday-Saturday the following week, all at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8-$12 (435-797-3046).
• PIRATES OF PENZANCE, being staged by Lockwood Repertory Company, known for its Caribbean-flavored spin on the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, will play from Monday through Oct. 29 at Springville Junior High School, 165 E. 700 South, Springville.
The musical, which also contains touches of "Macbeth" and "Hamlet," features Eric Blood as the Pirate King, Robert Young as the Major General, Serene Stead as Mabel, John Cobb as Frederic, Michelle Rotar as Ruth, Joe Spear as the Sergeant, and Jon Mier as Samuel.
Performances are 7:30 nightly except Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens and students, $6 for children and $35 for a family pass, all available at www.emersonsmith.org.
• AN IDEAL HUSBAND, Oscar Wilde's Victorian comedy classic, is being staged from Monday through Saturday by Dixie State College's theater department in the Eccles Fine Arts Center's Black Box Theater, St. George.
Performances are 7:30 nightly. All tickets are $5 each (435-652-7800 or www.dixie.edu).
• BLITHE SPIRIT, Noel Coward's comedy about a seance that goes hilariously awry, is being presented Thursday-Saturday and Oct. 29 in the Clearfield Community Theatre, 140 E. Center St., Clearfield.
The plot revolves around newlyweds Charles and Ruth Condomine being haunted by the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, after a local mystic's seance runs into trouble.Performances are 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for children and senior citizens (525-2790 or at the door).
E-mail: [email protected]