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Doug Carter, Desert Star Theatres
The cast of Desert Star's "Holidays" revue.
Two more Scrooges, a herd of Herdmans and George Bailey highlight this week's new Christmas-themed stage offerings.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, is Desert Star Dinner Theatre's annual production, featuring nearly two dozen songs and Desert Star's family-oriented humor.

Directed by Scott Holman (assisted by Mary Parker Williams), the cast will include Justin Berry, Corey Brandenburger, Heather Elmer, Bryan Mathew Hague, Julie Heaton and Kirsten Louise Kenison, with Aubrey Thompson as accompanist.

The show plays Friday through Dec. 22, with performances Mondays-Fridays at 7 p.m., and Saturdays at 3:15 and 7 p.m. The "Grand Holiday Buffet" is served at 5:45 p.m. nightly, with the Saturday lunch buffet at 2 p.m.

Combined show-buffet prices are $35.95 for adults on weeknights and $39.95 on weekends and $14.95 for children, 11 and under (266-2600 or www.desertstar.biz).

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, based on Charles Dickens' beloved masterpiece, has two more stage versions opening this week, both in Utah County — the recent Broadway edition at the Center Street Musical Theatre, 177 W. Center, Provo, and the more familiar, traditional version at Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North.

Center Street's production, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, features Gavin Grooms as Ebenezer Scrooge and Brianne Emry, Matt Christensen and Felicia Chamberlain as, respectively, the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future. Tiny Tim will be played by Joseph Grooms and Jennifer Bringhurst, who share the role.

It runs from Friday through Dec. 22, with performances Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens, students and children, and $9-$7 for matinees. There is also a $45 Monday night family pass.

Optional evening dinners, served at 6:30 p.m., are $10 per person. The breakfast menu, served at 10 a.m., featuring Belgian waffles and hot chocolate, is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Advance reservations are required for all meals. For all reservations, call 373-4485 (www.csmtc.com).

Hale Center Theater Orem's annual production of "A Christmas Carol" is playing 8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays from Friday through Dec. 22, with Saturday matinees at noon beginning Dec. 8 and weeknight matinees at 5 p.m. beginning Dec. 13. (HCT-Orem's evening performances are usually at 7:30 p.m., but the curtain is half an hour later for "Christmas Carol" due to the additional 5 p.m. performances.)

Directed by Jerry Elison and choreographed by Ben Tichy, the cast includes Chris Brower as Scrooge and Dave Burton as Bob Cratchit, with Nathan Barham and Mark Jeffs sharing the role of Tiny Tim.

All seats are reserved. Tickets range from $13.50-$17.50 (226-8600).

THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER, the popular comedy about a church's annual Nativity pageant being disrupted by the Herdman family's unruly children, is opening at two Salt Lake area theaters — the Sugar Factory Playhouse, 8201 S. 2200 West, West Jordan, and the Draper Historic Theater, 12366 S. 900 East, Draper.

The Sugar Factory Playhouse production, directed by Pat Oliver, includes Kurtis Blackman, Hans Warby Nesbitt, Elizabeth Colton, Maddie Beiderman, Ranae Rowley, Caleb Hintze and Taylor Tripp as the kids.

Performances are Thursday-Saturday of this week and Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays through Dec. 15 (no performance on Dec. 6), all at 7:30 p.m., with noon matinees all three Saturdays. General admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students, children and senior citizens. Tickets are available in advance at Macey's in West Jordan or at the door (www.sugarfactoryplayhouse.com).

Draper Historic Theatre's production, directed by Beth Bruner, will play from Friday through Dec. 22, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Dec. 15 only. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens and $6 for children (572-4144 or www.drapertheatre.org).

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, adapted by Phillip Grecian from Frank Capra's classic film, is being presented as a staged 1940s radio broadcast, from Friday through Dec. 29 at the Empress Theatre, 9104 W. 2700 South, Magna.

Anthony Buck is directing. The cast includes Ben Printy as George Bailey and Maren Abercrombie as Mary Hatch Bailey.

Performances are Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., with matinees on Dec. 8 and 22 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for students and senior citizens and $8 for children or those in groups of 15 or more (347-7373).

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