MY VALLEY FAIR LADY, Desert Star Playhouse, 4861 S. State (through March 22, 266-2600). Running time: 2 hours (one intermission in the middle of the production and another before the olio that follows the play)

Most of the potty jokes fell flat on opening night of "My Valley Fair Lady." And the gay jokes got more laughter than they deserved. In short, the new Desert Star production is not without flaws.

Still, to have been there on the first night of the first play of Desert Star's 20th anniversary season is to understand why this theater in Murray has lasted as long as it has. The Wasatch Front has a lot of local talent — scriptwriters, singers, dancers, pianists, comedians — and Michael and Alyce Todd's theater has brought them together, year after year, for some genuinely fun results.

"My Valley Fair Lady" (script by Ben E. Millet) tells the story of a young woman named Jenna Doohickey, a graduate of Granger High, who is working at a food booth in the Valley Fair Mall one day when she falls for a young man from the east side of the valley. Freddy Huffington, the young man, is slumming at the mall, along with his girlfriend, Posh Cartier.

Luckily for Ms. Doohickey, other visitors to the mall that day include a British professor named Philpot and a local supporter of the culinary arts, one Colonel Flanders. Jenna overhears Flanders offer Philpot a place to stay, and she goes to the home and engages Philpot to help her learn how to pass as an east-sider. (Other than her pink hair and swearing, Jenna's main problem is that she says "seen" when she ought to say "saw.")

Scott Holman directs. Mary Parker Williams is the assistant director and Alex Marshall is musical director and pianist.

On opening night, Kerstin Davis was Jenna, Holman was Philpot, Justin Berry was Flanders, Richy T. Steadman was Freddy, Liz Christensen was Posh, Matt Kohler was Jenna's dad, Williams was Freddy's mom and Brittney M. Nielson was Flander's sister.

The production really takes off when Davis starts to sing. And then Steadman dances. And then you begin to notice how dry and amusing Holman is — Christensen, too. And then Williams comes on stage with a lovely imitation of a woman who's had too many face-lifts. When her Botox migrates to the bottom of her feet, they get so round that she falls over.

You laugh. Quite a bit, actually. Then you order yourself a root-beer float to top off your pizza and you vow not to let another year go by without visiting the Desert Star again.

Sensitivity rating: Bathroom humor. Put-downs of gays. Probably nothing an elementary school aged child hasn't already heard.

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