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Frank Gerrish, SLCC
Actress Reb Fleming plays the title role in Salt Lake Community College's "King Lear."
Classics by Shakespeare and Chekhov, one of the season's first Christmas offerings and a couple of Halloween treats are on this week's calendar for theatergoers.

KING LEAR, Shakespeare's drama about an abdicating king dividing the kingdom among three daughters, will get an unusual spin by Salt Lake Community College's Department of Performing Arts.

Directed by Frank Gerrish, who has a knack for pushing the envelope, the title role will be played by Reb Fleming — an actress on SLCC's theater faculty.

So will it be "Queen Lear" sitting on the throne? Gerrish's press release states that "Lear, aging king of Britain, decides to abdicate and divide her kingdom between her three children."

The cast will also include Tom Jacobsen as Gloucester and Margo Watson as Goneril, Tim Maness as Edmund and John Lawrence as Edgar.

Performances will be Thursday-Saturday this week and Wednesday-Saturday the following week, all at 7:30 p.m. The Black Box Theater is on the third floor of SLCC's South City Campus, 1575 S. State. Tickets are $10 each. SLCC students, staff and faculty are admitted free with valid I.D. (957-3322).

THE SEAGULL, Anton Chekhov's tale of anguish and unrequited love, will play from Wednesday through Nov. 17 in the Margetts Theatre of Brigham Young University's Harris Fine Arts Center, Provo.

Directed by Barta Heiner, the cast includes Jason Purdie as aspiring young playwright Konstantin Treplev, Lauren Noll as his mother and famous actress Irina Arkadina, David St. Julien as Boris Trigorin, Irina's lover, and Caitlin Wise as Nina Zarachnaya, the girl who spurns Konstantin.

Tickets are $7 for the discounted dress rehearsal previews Wednesday and Thursday and for the 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 10. Tickets for all other performances are $14 for general admission and $9 on weekdays or $10 on weekends for those with a BYU or student I.D. Evening performances are 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays (422-7664 or www.performances.byu.edu).

TWO HALLOWEEN events this week include Plan-B Theatre Company's annual theater-of-the-mind "Radio Hour" broadcast and West Jordan Youth Theatre's holiday production.

"Radio Hour," broadcast live at 11 a.m. and repeated at 7 p.m. on KUER (FM-90), will showcase two original scripts by Plan-B Theatre's resident playwright, Matthew Ivan Bennett. Both "Lavender" and "Exile" are based on Utah ghost stories. Performers are Jay Perry, Teresa Sanderson and Chelsi Stahr, with sound design by Cory Thorell. Cheryl Ann Cluff is directing.

"Who's Haunting the Old Rock Church?" will be staged by West Jordan Youth Theatre Monday-Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Pioneer Hall, 1137 W. 7800 South. Tickets are $3 each, available at the door or in advance from the West Jordan Macey's, 7859 S. 3100 West.

Patrons are invited to dress in costume on Halloween night for a trunk-or-treat event immediately following the show. Anyone interested in volunteering or bringing a trunk-or-treat vehicle should contact Chelsey Short at 792-8707 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE, comedian Steve Martin's humorous "what if?" approach to a possible meeting between scientist Einstein and painter Picasso in a French bistro in 1904 — before either of them became famous — is playing from Friday through Nov. 10 at Weber State University, Ogden.

It's the beginning of the 20th century and possibilities fill the air. The two central characters are both insecure and confident at the same time. They get into a discussion about which is more important — talent or genius?

The next year, Einstein would publish several papers that put him in the "genius" category. In 1907, Picasso painted "Demoiselles d'Avignon," considered to be the icon of his contribution to Cubism.

The play contains adult material.

Performances will be Friday and Saturday and Nov. 6-10 in the Eccles Black Box Theatre of WSU's Browning Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $5.50 and $8.50 (1-800-978-8457).

CINDERELLA gets a "French classic" spin in the Children's Theatre and School of the Arts' 23rd season opener, playing from Friday through Nov. 24 at 237 S. State.

Geared to younger audiences, this version has the two ugly stepsisters planning their royal ball wardrobes with the help of Messieur La Plumba, the greatest fashion designer in the land.

Public performances are Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 1 and 4:30 p.m. All seats are $10 each for general admission (532-6000).

IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME AGAIN, Jody Renstrom's locally written comedy about a modern-day Scrooge or a very grumpy grandpa, is playing from Friday through Nov. 19 at the Valley Center Playhouse, 780 N. 200 East, Lindon. Performances are Thursdays-Saturdays and Mondays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for students, children and senior citizens or $25 per family. Group rates are also available (785-1186 or www.vcpnews.com).

QUICK WITS, which has been performing every weekend for the past 13 years around the Salt Lake Valley, is returning to downtown Salt Lake City starting Nov. 2, when the troupe's "improv" comedy shows will be performed on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. at Studio 600, located at 26 E. 600 South.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for senior citizens and students. Studio 600 is a non-alcoholic, non-smoking dance club. Through Halloween, the venue also features "the Haunted Circus," a walk-through spook alley full of frightfully happy clowns (355-9860 or www.quickwitscomedy.com).

E-mail: [email protected]